A DEVELOPER is set to table two planning applications for Fletcher Bank Quarry in Ramsbottom.
Peel Holdings was given permission by Bury Council in 2005 to remove hard rock from the quarry on the condition that it stops in 2042 and restores the site by 2043.
Now, the firm wants to make two alterations: l To apply for permission to build an anaerobic digestion facility (ADF), which uses food by-products known as feedstock to generate electricity in a complex process.
l To infill the northern part of the quarry with some of the materials from the ADF.
Peel representatives held a public meeting with site neighbours at Ramsbottom Civic Hall in June and sent newsletters.
A Peel spokesman said: “There is an existing concrete manufacturing facility owned and operated by Marshalls. It uses a significant amount of energy and Marshalls is seeking alternative low-carbon renewable energy sources.
“What we are proposing is a significant enhancement to the industrial activities on the site.”
If permission is granted, renewable energy firm Tamar Energy would build and run the ADF site. It would operate for at least 25 years.
The spokesman added the firm would put strict measures in place to ensure smells do not cause a nuisance to neighbours and the Environment Agency would monitor emissions.
He said the ADF plant would generate 27 vehicle trips per day and did not anticipated a rise in noise levels. “Recent improvements, including a wheel wash and more road sweeping, and the installation of a mobile processing unit at Scout Moor Quarry, have resulted in an improvement on Whalley Road in the past 18 months or so,” the spokesman said.
One aim of the scheme is to ensure the quarry is restored “well within” the time limit which expires in 2042.
A Bury Council spokesman said the applications would be publicised in the next few days.
The authority will write to site neighbours and invite them to air their views during a consultation process.
A final decision is likely to be made before the end of November by members of Bury’s planning committee.
Concern over ‘trojan horse’ proposal
A COUNCILLOR has expressed concern about Peel Holding’s planning applications.
Ramsbottom representative Cllr Ian Bevan said: “It will involve approximately 1.5 million tonnes of extra landfill being brought to the site, along with a significant number of lorries trundling through Shuttleworth on a daily basis.
“If Peel was to dump this additional waste, it has the potential to increase its income.
“This is all the more concerning as it was a seemingly innocuous proposal tagged on the back of an application for a controversial anaerobic digestion facility.
“Residents are now convinced the ADF plant is actually a ‘trojan horse’ to get this alternative restoration scheme through.”
A Peel Holdings spokesman said: “The scheme will delivery benefits in landscape, biodiversity and amenity terms.
“The feedback from the public consultation we have undertaken indicates many local people are supportive of this element of our proposals and it is therefore certainly not a ‘trojan horse’. It is an integral part of the overall scheme.”
He added: “The proposed revised restoration scheme will see no increase in the levels of traffic generated by that activity, neither will it take longer to complete than currently required.
“We hope the restoration will be completed before 2038 in any case.”