Council object to plans for Blubberhouses Quarry

Blubblerhouses Quarry’s application to re-start work at the site has been objected to by Harrogate Borough Council.

Hanson Quarry applied to build a processing plant andextract silica sand, a product used in glass manufacturing, for the next 25 years.

However Harrogate Borough Council have objected to the application on the grounds that the full visual impact of the site has not been assessed.

In their report to the council’s planning department Hanson said: “Blubberhouses would be one of a very small number of quarries in England that has the raw chemistry and extensive reserves to enable the production of colourless container glass sand.

“National policy emphasizes the scarcity of silica sand and its importance to a wide range of industries. Other than recycled glass from bottles and jars there are no alternatives to the raw material for glass manufacture.”

The Quarry, located on Kex Gill Moor, received planning permission in 1986 for the extraction of silica sand until 2011 andthe processing plant was established in 1987.

It was mothballed in 1991 with significant reserves before the plant was demolished in 2007 due to health and safety concerns.

In 2011 the council’s landscape officer commented on the site in respect to it’s inclusion in the County Council’s Site Allocations and Policies Development Plan Document.

The officer said: “It is considered that any new facilities or development in the AONB should only be provided where they are not highly visible.

“This is a dramatic moorland landscape with a wild open character and an important resource for walkers. Impacts on the road network would conflict with recreation and tourism interests.”

The RSPB raised concerns over the proposals.

Conservation Officer Dr Michelle Lindsay, said: “The RSPB believes that insufficient information has been provided to enable the council to determine ‘no likely significant effects.”

Hanson responded to the RSPB and said: “There is no direct habitat loss from the working quarry.”

North Yorkshire County Council Landscape Architect John Wainwright agreed that insufficient information had been provided.

He said: “The previous application was approved over 20 years ago and there have been many changes in landscape planning policy since then, which suggests that all details of the scheme should now be reviewed.”

Hanson Quarry Products were unavailable to comment.