Towards a Minerals Local Plan for Derbyshire and Derby

Sand and Gravel Site Assessments


1.1 Willington

Site Name: Willington

Reference Number:SG01

Proposed By: Cemex


Site Location

Locationand General Description of Site

1.1.1 This is a proposed extension to the currently active Willington pit. This 64 hectare site is located in the Trent Valley on the Derbyshire/Staffordshire border, one mile to the south-west of the village of Willington. Both parts are currently in agricultural use, predominantly for grazing livestock.

1.1.2 Derbyshire County Council received a formal planning application for an extension to the existing quarry in July 2015, involving extraction in two parts of this site (34ha in total yielding a potential 2.07 mt) and the retention of the existing processing plant and ancillary facilities.

Resources (yield, annual output, depth of deposit)

1.1.3 This site is estimated to have a yield of approx. 2.85 million tonnes of sand & gravel from deposits between 3m and 6m in depth. Assuming an extraction area (taking account of stand-offs) of around 55 hectares, yield per hectare would be around 50,000 tonnes. There is an average overburden of 1.5m depth. It would have a lifespan of around 10 years. This equates to an annual output from the site of around 250,000-300,000 tonnes.

End Use of, and Market for, Mineral

1.1.4 Processed material is likely to continue to be used for building sand and in the manufacture of ready mixed concrete and sold within a 25 mile radius of the site.

Timing and Phasing

1.1.5 The operator states that production could commence in 2017 and would enable the quarry to remain productive after the completion of operations within the existing quarry area. The proposed development, including restoration, would be completed in an estimated 10 years.

Plant and Access Arrangements

1.1.6 All operations for the existing quarry and the proposed extension would continue to be accessed using the existing long access road to the A5132. The existing processing plant on the adjacent operational site would also be used for the duration of the proposed extension period.

Site History

1.1.7 Mineral extraction in the vicinity of the site has been undertaken in a piecemeal manner by a number of operators since the 1960s, although it is only since the late 1980s that the site has developed into a permanent quarry with associated infrastructure. Permissions for the extraction of sand and gravel from land off High Bridge Lane and to the south-west of Castle Way were granted in 1966 and 1991 respectively and these areas have now been worked out. The former area is now the location of the quarry plant and silt lagoons.




Existing Infrastructure

1.1.8 This proposal would utilise the existing quarry infrastructure.

ASSESSMENT (+) Use of existing quarry infrastructure

Sterilisation of Resources

1.1.9 The operation would continue the extraction of mineral using existing infrastructure

ASSESSMENT (+) Continued use of mineral resources using existing infrastructure

1.1.10 Employment

The operation would use existing employees from the existing quarry

ASSESSMENT (+) Retention of employees

Infrastructure - Access Arrangements to the Site

1.1.11 There is an existing access/haul road from the site through previous working areas to the A5132. This will continue to be used.

ASSESSMENT (+) The site will be accessed by an A road


1.1.12 The company estimates that the site would yield around 2.07 million tonnes of sand and gravel from an extraction area of 34 hectares. This equates to around 60,000 tonnes per hectare.

ASSESSMENT (+) Yield of 50,000 - 75,000 tph

Transport - Distance to Markets

1.1.13 The company intends that processed material would be sold to the same markets as for the existing operation i.e. within 25 miles of the quarry.

ASSESSMENT (+) Distance to markets 20-25 miles

Transport - Mode of Transport to Market

1.1.14 The operator has confirmed that the processed material would be transported by road.

ASSESSMENT (-) Road transport proposed




Visual Intrusion

1.1.15 This site cannot be seen easily from any residential or other property, although some properties in Newton Solney may have views of the southernmost part of the site from across the river. The north-western section can be seen from the railway and the majority of the site is visible from High Bridge Lane (a green lane) which follows the north-eastern boundary of the site and then southwards through the southern part of the site. Overall, the site has few visual receptors, but large parts of the site are visible from public routes.

ASSESSMENT (+)The site has few visually sensitive receptors but large parts of the site will be visible from them


1.1.16 There are only a small number of individual residential properties to the north of the site along the A38 but it is not considered that they would be affected to any greater degree than they are by the current operation, which operates within the required noise guidelines.

ASSESSMENT (+) The site has few noise sensitive receptors within 500m of the boundary of the site

Nuisance Dust

1.1.17 There are only a small number of individual residential properties within 500m of the site, but the moist nature of the material on extraction and methods of working would reduce the impact of dust in any case.

ASSESSMENT (+)The site has few medium/dust sensitive receptors within 500m of the boundary of the site

Air Quality/Human Health

1.1.18 There are no Air Quality Management Areas in the vicinity of this site.

ASSESSMENT (+) Site does not lie within 1000m of an AQMA

Transport - Local Amenity

1.1.19 HGVs would not have to pass through residential areas to reach the primary road network.

ASSESSMENT (+) HGVs would pass few sensitive receptors to reach the main market areas

Benefits from the Proposed After-Use

1.1.20 It is not considered that the working of this area and its subsequent reclamation to mainly water end-uses would result in any significant environmental benefits. Existing habitats are already intact. There may be some community benefits from the proposed water-based nature conservation element of the restoration scheme. Economic benefits from the restoration scheme would appear to be limited although if recreational water uses are proposed, this may lead to the creation of some jobs and visitor spending.

ASSESSMENT (+) Some benefits from the proposed after-use

Cumulative Impact

1.1.21 There are existing mineral workings in the area and have been for a significant number of years .

ASSESSMENT (--)Impacts from past and existing mineral workings

Airport Safeguarding Birdstrike Issue - Potential Risk to Aircraft Safety

1.1.22 This site lies outside the EMA 13km zone but partly inside the Derby Aerodrome 3km zone.

ASSESSMENT (+) The site lies within an area where there is a medium potential for birdstrike




Water Environment - Flooding

1.1.23 The site lies within an area classified as Flood Zone 3. Such areas have the highest probability of flooding. A Flood Risk Assessment is being considered for this site by the EA.

ASSESSMENT (--) Site lies within flood zone 3 - high probability of flooding

Water Environment - Groundwater

1.1.24 This site does not lie within a Groundwater Protection Zone.

ASSESSMENT (+) Site lies outside a groundwater protection zone

Water Environment - Aquifer Protection

1.1.25 This site lies on a minor aquifer.

ASSESSMENT (-) Site lies on a minor aquifer.

Ecology - Existing Impacts from Mineral Extraction

1.1.26 Widespread impacts on north-east side, but major losses have been/will be arable land.

ASSESSMENT (+) Localised, but moderate to high, impacts on habitats

Ecology - UK, regional and local BAPs priority habitats and species

1.1.27 Significant area of unimproved pasture, dense watercourse trees, and pollarded willows, water filled channels. There are mature trees on High Bridge Lane, including a rare black poplar, a former stream course, willows and alders.

ASSESSMENT (--) Extensive areas of positive ecological value, including UK priority habitats or species which should be considered for protection/conservation

Ecology - Ecological Coherence/Natural Areas, Wildlife Corridors/Linkages

1.1.28 Area is cut off from similar habitat by railway and other workings but internally has strong coherence and strong coherence with the Rivers Trent and Dove. There is a good assemblage of characteristic features of the Natural Area in a quiet area.

ASSESSMENT (--) The site accords with the established habitats over a wider area and habitat pattern is strong

Ecology - Habitat Creation

1.1.29 Existing habitats are intact and there is a limited requirement for biodiversity enhancement within the site.

ASSESSMENT (-/--) Existing habitats are intact and make a strong contribution to priority biodiversity targets for conservation and there is strong ecological coherence within the site; habitat creation would not enhance the site or the wider area

Landscape and Visual Amenity - Existing Impacts

1.1.30 The site is located east of Hilton and lies outside the Sherwood Sandstone area. There is a high, widespread impact from existing mineral extraction on the north-east section of the site, although it does not impact on the majority of the site.

ASSESSMENT (+) There are localised, moderate to high, impacts associated with past mineral extraction

Landscape and Visual Amenity - Existing Infrastructure

1.1.31 There is an active plant and associated infrastructure directly adjacent to the site which could be utilised by the proposed site with potentially only slight adverse effects.

ASSESSMENT (+) There is existing infrastructure within the vicinity of the proposed site that could be connected to with only slight adverse effects

Landscape and Visual Amenity - Strength of Landscape Character

1.1.32 South-west of Willington and south of the Trent and Mersey Canal and railway line,the site strongly accords the established landscape character. There has been some loss of hedgerows and arable land in the north-east section. However, there is still a significant section of intact unimproved pasture, dense watercourse trees, and pollarded willows. There is a green lane/ bridleway which bisects the site then traverses the south-western side of the site towards the River. There is a visually distinct former stream course and parish boundary lined with willows and alders (potentialveterans). The southern section of the site is shown as Hargate Common Pasture on the 1849 tithe map, which would account for the lack of field enclosure in this area. There are linear water areas adjacent to the river, which are possibly cut off oxbow lakes. The site accords with the established Riverside Meadows landscape character and is generally in good condition.

ASSESSMENT (--) The site accords with the established landscape character and is in good condition

Landscape and Visual Amenity - Visual Impact

1.1.33 The former Hargate Common Pasture is potentially visible from parts of Newton Solney across the river to the south. Several parts of the site will be visible from the lane which crosses the site. The site has few visual receptors but large parts of the site are visible.

ASSESSMENT (+) The site has few visual receptors but large parts of the site will be visible

Historic Environment - Designated sites & settings

1.1.34 None in the area.

ASSESSMENT (+) No perceivable impact on a designation

Historic Environment - Archaeological Environment

1.1.35 Fairly extensive areas of visible ridge and furrow.Several known palaeochannels with a major channel still containing areas of water. Major potential for well-preserved organic remains.

ASSESSMENT (-) Frequent, visible and interpretable earthworks and some known archaeology with significant potential for buried remains

Historic Environment - Historic Landscapes

1.1.36 Field pattern suggestive of enclosure of strip fields and relatively unchanged since mid-19th century. Field pattern could be much earlier.

ASSESSMENT (--) Evidence of multi period landscape and intact field pattern

Best and Most Versatile Agricultural Land

1.1.37 The majority of this site lies within an area where 20%-60% of the land is likely to be best and most versatile agricultural land (bmv).

ASSESSMENT (+) The site lies within an area where there is a moderate likelihood of bmv land