Sibelco, the world’s largest producer of hydraulic fracturing sands, has submitted a planning application for a 190 acre silica sand quarry that straddles the boundary of Cheshire West and Cheshire East Council.
This is a 12 year development that would involve the extraction of some 3 million tonnes of silica sand. To put that figure into context, a fracking well will typically use between 2,000 and 10,000 tonnes of silica sand. In theory, this quarry could supply enough silica sand for 300 to 1500 fracking wells.
Cheshire West and Chester Council (Labour) originally delegated the entire responsibility for deciding this application to Cheshire East Council (Conservative). It is understood that this decision to delegate was investigated to determine whether it was in contravention of the CWAC Constitution, and this was found to be the case.
**Update** Due to local campaigning CW&C have decided the constitution has been breached and a duplicate planning app will have to be submitted by Sibelco to CW&C and that CW&C Planning Committee will determine the application.
The application had, at best, received nominal advance publicity. Further, CW&C recommended that Sibelco should carry out “comprehensive public consultation”. The lack of awareness about this proposal would suggest that any such consultation might not have been comprehensive enough.
It is, therefore, really important that as many people as possible engage in the review of this hugely significant application. The consultation deadlines were originally 28th October (CW&C) and 4th November (CEC) but following great public interest in the application, this was extended for another month.
** Update ** the consultation period has now been extended by 3 months to 21st Feb 2017 **
Public comments can be sent to Cheshire East Council here (the “comment on this application” link is on the right hand side of the page underneath the map)
CEC Planning Reference 16/4724W
Public comments can be sent to Cheshire West and Chester Council here by selecting the ‘comments’ tab’ (although you will need to register to set up your own individual public comment account)
Alternatively, you can email representations to Cheshire West and Chester Council via this email address
email@example.com quoting CWAC Planning Reference 16/04550/AAC
NOTE 1 – 21.10.16 we understand that a member of the public has made a complaint, about the inadequacy of the publicity of this application, upheld by Cheshire East Council. I am told that further press publicity is now being arranged and that the length of the consultation period has been extended
Further information can be found at –
Here is previous blog post we made about Silica sand mining, and the health risks involved
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