Controversial Walsall quarry site set to be expanded
A quarry is set to be expanded to allow for 120,000 tons of sand to be extracted every year .
The plans, put forward by Jack Moody Group, concerns 39 acres of land at Branton Hill Quarry in Aldridge, Walsall.
If approved, it will result in the formal closure of Branton Hill Lane as an access road drawing a line under a long-running campaign by residents along the stretch who complained about HGVs rumbling by their homes. A decade ago they held a demonstration waving placards at lorry drivers who went by.
Instead the site will be accessed by a new road which has been built off Chester Road. But the scheme itself has been contentious with locals.
The application was first submitted in 2001 but has been on hold while the new access was established.
Previously a petition with 43 signatures was sent to Walsall Council objecting to it citing concerns over the impact on residents, wildlife and the environment.
The application will go before the authority’s planning committee on Thursday with officers recommending it be approved. The report for the meeting states no-one responded to a consultation last autumn.
Councillor John Rochelle, who is on the committee as well as representing the area, said: “I am very pleased for the residents of Branton Hill Lane that the new access road has been built.”
It is estimated sand will be extracted until 2027 with more than 1m tons removed by then. But operations to infill the site will continue until 2030. The existing quarry at the site has not been used for several years.
A dozen staff will be employed and the quarry would be in use between the hours of 7.30am to 5.30pm Monday to Fridays and 7.30am to 12.30pm on weekends. A traffic assessment concluded there will be around an average of 264 vehicle movements a day at the site.
Several measures have also been put forward to mitigate dust coming from the facility including a water bowser to we excavated material, sheeting to cover lorries, wheel washing, road sweepers, maintenance of the access road as well as damping and covering of materials.
The council’s report states: “The proposed extension will release 1.1 million tonnes of building sand, which is an essential raw material for use in the building and construction industry.
“The proposed rate of extraction would be market dependant but expected to be 120,000 tonnes per annum.”