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City council draws up action plan with a warning it must be implemented
Quarry operators at Arthington are being told to clean up – from keeping the adjoining road clear to dealing with “foul odours”.
A Leeds City Council monitoring report has highlighted a number of areas it says it is concerned about at Arthington Quarry – and has drawn up an eight-point action plan it is warning must be implemented to avoid enforcement action.
The required improvements the council want include:
- Installing a new drainage system to stop surface water from the site, and its vehicle wheel-wash, running on to Black Hill Road
- The removal of a cabin, walls, and an area of hardstanding that do not have planning permission
- The management of operator Nutramulch’s composting operation so that odours are “not detectable or noticeable” outside the quarr.
- Wheel and road cleaning of quarry vehicles to be implemented at all times to prevent the risk, particularly in bad weather, of mud and debris being deposited on Black Hill Road.
Councillor Barry Anderson (Con, Adel & Wharfedale) who has been airing residents’ concerns about the quarry for several years, said: “I am disappointed at the number of breaches identified, particularly as Nutramulch has been attending the meetings we have held in the Civic Hall and were more than aware of the concerns being expressed by residents, councillors and the Environment Agency.
“I am reassured by the quality of the report and also the assurance from the officers that reports on similar lines will be produced regularly.
“I am also reassured, as a result of a meeting held on site last week with councillors, representatives from Arthington Parish Council, council officers, Nutramulch, and a representative from the quarry’s owners, that enforcement has identified some issues that need to be resolved urgently.
“It is my intention to organise a meeting in February with all relevant parties to assess how many of the compliance issues have been addressed and ascertain the resources that will be needed to carry out these ongoing monitoring reports.”
In its conclusion, the report notes that: “The operator appears willing to work with the council and to resolve any issues that are raised during regular monitoring visits.
“However the local planning authority reminds both operators that the deadlines (for action) stipulated in this report must be adhered to in order to prevent legal proceedings being commenced.”
Group operations director for Associated Waste Management Ltd, Ian Bissett, said: “The site is owned by Blackshaw Holdings. Blackshaw operates the quarry part of the site, and Nutramulch operates a composting facility.
“Quarrying for sandstone has now ceased and the void is being infilled.
“Blackshaw has been given a copy of the monitoring report, which is produced annually as part of the planning consent.
“A representative of the company was present during the monitoring visit and will work closely with the local planning authority to resolve the issues outlined.
“All parties agreed that 2012 has been an exceptionally wet year which has placed a great strain on the land drainage system. However Blackshaw has commissioned a survey of drainage on site and will carry out the required remedial work to try to prevent water run-off in future.
“Sister company Associated Waste Management also provides a road sweeper which visits the site daily, to clean Black Hill Road. None of the other non-compliance issues relate to Blackshaw.”