Decision due on Ronez Quarry expansion proposal next week

A NORTH-COAST quarry could be extended and up to 2.5 million tonnes of granite extracted over the next two decades – if the Planning Committee approves an application next week.

Ronez quarry. Picture: JON GUEGAN. (31072872)
Ronez quarry. Picture: JON GUEGAN. (31072872)

Ronez, based on Route du Nord in St John, say that without the enlargement the availability of ‘workable’ aggregates would soon become exhausted. Quarried material is either used in construction, turned into concrete or converted into asphalt.

Documents attached to the planning application say that the proposals would result in the loss of two small horse paddocks, grassland and the nearby motocross track – the latter of which would be moved to an area close by. It describes the land that would be lost as of a ‘low significance’ for nature conservation purposes.

A summary of the plans included within the application says: ‘The application site would be stripped of soils and overlying overburden. Soils would be placed into store for later use in restoration operations whilst the overburden would be transported to the existing quarry void for use in restoration of the extant quarry workings.

‘Following the removal of the superficial deposits the granite would be progressively worked in a series of 10m-high faces.’

Planning officers have recommended that the plans be approved. In a report explaining their decision, they say the site is of ‘strategic importance’ and that the project has been anticipated for a number of years.

‘This is considered to be vital to ensuring an adequate supply of construction aggregate over the coming two decades.

‘Consequently, there is support within the Island Plan for this expansion. In offering this support, the plan acknowledges that the area of expansion falls within the Island’s Coastal National Park and that it will result in the loss of two agricultural fields,’ the report says.

‘Some realignment of the motocross track is necessary as a result of the expansion. The original proposal to reposition the track further to the south has been revised in light of the public comments received. The realigned track is now no closer to nearby dwellings than is the case at present.’

Members of the public are able to attend the Planning Committee meeting in person at the St Paul’s Centre on 24 June, with proceedings due to begin at 9.30am.

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