Buckton Vale Quarry license could be extended to 2042

PEOPLE living close to a quarry believe things will get worse if it is allowed to stay open for another 24 years.

WH Maher, owner of the site above Carrbrook, has applied to extend its license until 2042.

Buckton Vale Quarry- picture courtesy of Ryan Curtis

But residents living close to the access route used by lorries believe granting it without a thorough investigation and another look at a traffic assessment survey will see their problems increase.

They also claim wagons are speeding through Carrbrook Village and the introduction of larger 12-wheeled ones has seen a new route being taken along South View rather than Carr Rise.

Jane Hyde and Anne Kennedy, two of the main opponents to Maher’s plan, say they can point to several incidents, even down to lorry drivers blocking roads by parking to take breaks.

A petition with about 200 signatures demanding action is taken is ready to be handed over to Tameside Council.

Jane, who says she has been affected by lorries using South View, said: “If the permission is given, we feel things will only get worse with the wagons that are coming to and from the quarry.

“I’ve heard people say, ‘Well, the quarry has been there for a long time.’ Yes it has but they should be more respectful with how they are operating.

“The transport survey being used in the application needs looking at.

“They’re told the number of wagons coming to and from it is seasonal but there is no mention of Buckton Vale Primary School.

“From early June, 12-wheeled articulated lorries have been going past. Maher told me they had bought three of them.

“They also said they are using South View now as the bigger trucks cannot get around the corner at Carr Rise because of the parked cars.

“But surely people can park outside their own homes?

“Now the road surface on South View is showing signs of wear and tear, a couple of the stones on the mini roundabout at the junction of South View and Buckton Vale Road came loose and a number of the stones on the chicane at South View have sunk.

“But every time we tell Maher of any incident, we’re just told, ‘prove it,’ and ‘it’s for a trial period,’ seems to be a favourite saying from them.”

Anne, 71, of Thorn Bank on Castle Lane, said: “When a lorry comes down the road, I can’t sit in my front room as the house rattles.

“I spend most of the time in the back room these days as when a lorry comes past if I was with someone we wouldn’t be able to hear each other.

“Maher has stated there has only been one minor incident in the last five years. Most of us on Thorn Bank, Oak Bank and Castle Lane know of at least six. I’ve seen lots of near misses.

“I know they have a job to do but the issue is with how they are going about it. There is no regard for people living nearby. It’s making our lives a misery”

In a report for their application, Maher says up to five million more tonnes of stone is ready to be extracted but admit production levels ‘would need to increase significantly on current and past levels if remaining reserves are to be fully worked within that timescale.’

They also say they may not even get all the deposits out of the ground by 2042, adding: “The required circa 200,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) production level is unlikely to be reached year on year.”

As a result, the door has been left open for another extension.

“It is eminently possible that reserves may exist at 21st February 2042, but that date would seem an appropriate juncture to undertake a further review as to whether it is appropriate for operations to continue beyond or to be curtailed,” their statement continues.

If permission is granted by Tameside Council, the hours of operation will not change, with them being restricted to between 7am and 6pm from Monday to Friday and from 7am until 1pm on Saturdays.

Haulage of material is also not allowed outside of 7.30am and 5.30pm on weekdays and 7am and 1pm on Saturday and no more than 90 return trips are allowed in a day.

Maher also insist the time will be the only thing that will change if permission is given.

They say: “The proposed development would not increase the physical extent of the site or result in any change to consented operations other than the extension of life.”

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