The story of Sibelo’s plans to extend its silica sand quarry in Cheshire is still ongoing. Originally Cheshire East Council was the sole authority deciding on the planning application, but due to local community pressure, things have changed.
Printed below is the official news statement sent out by Cheshire East on the 11th of January 2017.
Following discussions between Cheshire East Council and Cheshire West and Chester Council, Cheshire East will now determine the application as it applies to land situated within the Cheshire East boundary and Cheshire West and Chester will determine that portion of the application site sitting within the CWAC borough.
This will mean that the applicant will be asked to submit two fresh planning applications, one to each authority.
(Please note, at the current time 22/01/17 the only planning application on the CW&C planning site is the original one that can be found by entering 16/04550/AAC in the search page http://pa.cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk/online-applications/ )
This was also reported by Residents Against Quarrying in their newsletter dated 5th January 2016 –
“The latest position is that Cheshire West and Chester Council have rescinded their original permission for Cheshire East Council to deal with the entire application and as such Sibelco will now have to submit a separate planning application to Cheshire West and Chester Council whilst Cheshire East Council will now have to further delay the progression of the planning application already submitted to them under planning reference number 16/4724W. The last date for objections to be submitted has been extended yet again to 31st January 2017.”
Karen McIlwaine, director of governance at Cheshire West and Cheshire Council, said (25th November 2016)
“In the light of recent changes to the Cheshire West constitution, and in response to some concerns raised by residents in relation to the delegation, we have reviewed the decision to delegate this statutory function to Cheshire East.
“As a result, we will be asking the applicant to submit a duplicate application to Cheshire West and Chester Council for it to determine the portion within our area in line with our constitution.
“This will mean that, as an application dealing with mineral extraction, the application will be brought before Cheshire West’s Planning Committee and open to debate by the public and committee members.”
A press release from residents against quarrying issued 21st December 2016
highlighted the Initial grounds for objection from the point of submission of planning application by Sibelco;
Traffic Management and Road Safety – The A50 is a red route already due to the number of accidents and Sibelco’s Traffic Management Plan is lacking in detail and insubstantial, failing to address specific issues such as sheer increase in volume of traffic. Sibelco have now been asked to submit a significantly more robust Traffic Management Plan as a result of the significant number of objections already submitted.
Noise, dust and health implications – There will be noise from the site, as confirmed by Sibelco themselves. There will also be dust created – both facts acknowledged in the planning application. Medical research into Silica Sand Dust remains inconclusive. What risk are we allowing local residents, their children and grandchildren to be subjected to in the future with ‘inconclusive’ results? We can only reflect on history when the physical effects of asbestos were deemed ‘inconclusive’. Cheshire East’s own Public Health Department have submitted an interim objection already on the grounds of health concerns as have Friends of the Earth.
Community Benefit – There are no benefits to the community identified by any party involved.
Land ownership – The Sims family remain in dispute with each other in terms of Sibelco’s authority to physically undertake quarrying within the land in question, and legal action is ongoing outside of the planning process.
Previously, some eighty plus residents of Cranage parish attended the parish council meeting on 29th November 2016 to ask why the Parish Council had decided at a previous meeting not to object to Sibelco’s planning application for a sand quarry at Rudheath Loge Farm on Knutsford Road in Cranage.
The meeting was boisterous to say the least: The Chairman became visibly agitated and threatened to end the meeting. Following the uproar, he resigned from the Parish Council the following day.
Residents asked ,
- Why hadn’t the Parish Council sent a a letter to all residents asking for their views on such a large planning application that will affect everyone for twelve years or more?
- How had the Parish Council come to the decision to not object?
- Would the Parish Council withdraw the decision of 22nd October not to object to the application on the ground that residents had not been made aware of the meeting? (It appears that Parish Council is legally required to give three clear days’ notice of a meeting and post notices on the notice boards).
(Full story can be read at https://cranageparishchronicle.co.uk/comments-parish-meeting-held-29th-november-2016/)
For more, historic news of this development –
- Please see this initial article from November 08th 2016 detailing why local residents in Goostrey and Cranage are against the proposal
- Also this article from 21st November 2016 asking local people to attend the parish council meeting calling for a vote of no confidence to be taken and the dismissal of the existing Parish Council in Cranage
- More information about Silica sand can be found at http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/501752/1/UK_silica_sand_resources_for_fracking_submitted_26-04-13.pdf
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