Town Farm Quarry – Closure

Final update on Town Farm Quarry, Crowton

KPC Meeting 25th August 2020

We learned last week that Casey (Enviro) the quarry operators have finally vacated the former quarry site and a local farmer is now seeding what is restored pastureland. All previous permissions to extract and infill have now expired and will not be renewed.

Town Farm Quarry had been in operation for well over 18 years. It had been the subject of a series of new applications and extensions of existing permissions for extending the operation over that time and bringing in infill material as well as sand extraction. Kingsley Parish Council were represented at an Appeal in 2017 when regrettably the Planning Inspectorate extended the operation. Three Parish Councils objected to a request for a further extension to operations in 2018 and were represented at the Cheshire West and Chester Planning Committee hearing which then finally refused to permit any further development at the site.

Kingsley Parish Council along with the councils of Acton Bridge and Crowton has been actively engaged over the last two years in regular meetings with Cheshire West and Chester Minerals Planning Authority to finally bring an end to quarry operations at this site. During this time, there has been no sand extraction nor importation of infill material to the quarry.

Since September 2019, under new management, the operators have been committed to restore the quarry with re-grading the landfill, placing topsoil and preparing to return it to pastureland.

The site offices have now been demolished and power lines removed. The weighbridge has been sold and taken from the site and more recently 300 metres of  the middle section of the tarmac road leading to the actual quarry has been removed with some aggregate used to repair the original bridle path and public footpath into Norley. On driving along the B5153 it can be seen that only one short section of the former tarmac entrance road remains leading to a nearby farm. This work now finally brings to an end all tipper lorry movements through Kingsley and nearby villages which at one time were reaching well over a hundred per day.

Kingsley Parish Council would like to acknowledge the key role in this outcome of our two Ward Councillors at the time Cllrs Charles Fifield and Ralph Oultram who led the negotiations with the MPA. Also our thanks to the former Head of the MPA, now Head of Planning at CWaC, Rob Charnley who regularly met with us and guided the working group through to a satisfactory conclusion. We recognise too all the work done by the parish councillors and residents of Acton Bridge, Crowton and Kingsley who served on the working group. Finally we must thank Shane Harrison the current Operations Director of Casey and their consultant Rachel Thornley who kept us informed on the progress of the closure of this quarry.

It has been a long, and at times, a difficult campaign for the residents of the three villages concerned but we can now report that that this is now at an end.

Cllr Chris Pownall

18 August 2020

TFQ restored track looking towards B5153 entrance at Crowton