Towards a Minerals Local Plan for Derbyshire and Derby

Sand and Gravel Site Assessments

Chapel Farm

Chapel Farm

Site Name:Chapel Farm

Reference Number:SG05

Proposed By:Tarmac

BACKGROUND

Site Location

Chapel Farm

Locationand General Description of Site

1.5.1 The allocated site measures some 35 hectares of predominantly grazing land. It lies in the Trent valley to the east of Shardlow village. The site is proposed as an extension, by Tarmac, to the now inactive pit at Hemington, Leicestershire. The site boundaries are drawn along the Trent and Mersey Canal in the north, the River Trent in the east and existing field boundaries in the south and west.

1.5.2 The site is an allocation in the current Minerals Local Plan. A planning application was submitted whilst the Plan was being progressed but this covered part of the site only and was subsequently withdrawn. The information provided below relates to the whole of the site, based on information obtained at the time but has been amended in part to reflect the knowledge of the site which was obtained from consultees and further site investigations during the processing of that application.

Resources (yield, annual output, depth of deposit)

1.5.3 It was originally estimated that the site would yield some 2.1m tonnes of sand and gravel but information obtained during the processing of the planning application demonstrated that this figure would have to be revised downwards to reflect a number of issues, including the exclusion of an area in the northern part of the site from the intended extraction area due to its significant archaeological potential. The site was expected to generate a yield of approximately 60,000 tonnes per hectare (tph) but this may also need to be revised. The average depth of the deposit is 4.7 metres.

End Use of and Market for Mineral

1.5.4 It is anticipated that the mineral would be used to supply local construction markets and concrete products manufacturing. The main market areas for the mineral are Leicestershire, Derbyshire and Nottingham.

Timing and Phasing

1.5.5 The planning application for part of the site was based on an estimated annual output of the plant that serviced the former Hemington Quarry would be around 200,000 tpa. This plant was demolished and there is no information available about the capacity of any replacement. This, combined with the uncertainty about the volume of reserves that the site would produce makes it difficult at this time to estimate the lifespan of the site, although at the rate previously indicated it would be less than 10 years. There is also no information available to indicate at what point during the Plan period the development could commence.

Plant and Access Arrangements

1.5.6 The development proposed in the planning application indicated that excavated material would be transported by barge (from a new wharf) across the river to the former Hemington Pit where it would be processed prior to onward transport to market. A separate corresponding planning application was submitted to Leicestershire County Council for the retention/upgrading of the plant at Hemington Quarry but that application was kept in abeyance pending Derbyshire County Council's consideration of the planning application for sand and gravel extraction at Chapel Farm. The old plant has now been removed and implementation of the development would require the prior approval of Leicestershire County Council to the construction of a new processing plant. The previous application to Leicestershire County Council also proposed a new batching plant to produce ready mixed concrete. Both applications indicated that the mineral would be delivered to markets by road using the existing access onto the B6540.

Relevant History

1.5.7 The site is situated adjacent to the River Trent on the County boundary with Leicestershire. The area of land immediately south of the river in Leicestershire has previously been worked for sand and gravel, the site being known as Hemington Pit. All extraction has now ceased and the land has been restored, consisting of new water features and areas restored to agricultural use by infilling with inert waste.

Adopted Minerals Local Plan

1.5.8 The site is allocated for working in the adopted Derby and Derbyshire Minerals Local Plan. It was not one of the sites put forward for allocation in the draft Plan but was included as an allocation on the recommendation of the Inspector. The site measures 35 ha and has an estimated yield of 2.1 mt at the time of allocation. Policy MP21 included specific requirements for all of the allocated sites which stated that 'the processing and distribution of the material produced at the site will be carried out via the established and permitted plant areas and access arrangements unless there are significant environmental benefits in alternative arrangements'.

Current Planning Matters

1.5.9 The planning application referred to above was withdrawn prior to being determined by Derbyshire County Council. The application was submitted by Lafarge in 2004 to work 1,156,000 tonnes of sand and gravel from 17.3 ha of a 26.5 ha site which covered the northern part of the allocated site. The application proposed to transport the mineral by barge to Hemington Quarry situated across the river where it would be processed and distributed. The proposed restoration included a series of small, interconnected water features. Following consultation responses the applicant amended the proposals which reduced the area of extraction (for archaeological interest reasons) and the volume of mineral and revisions to the restoration scheme taking account of advice on birdstrike risks.

 

SITE ASSESSMENT

ECONOMIC CONSIDERATIONS

Existing Infrastructure

1.5.10 New quarry infrastructure would be required to be developed.

ASSESSMENT (-) New quarry infrastructure

Sterilisation of Resources

1.5.11 A new operation but would not lead to the sterilisation of resources elsewhere

. ASSESSMENT (-) Not an issue

1.5.12 Employment

The operation is likely to bring in new employees but unlikely to result in job losses elsewhere

ASSESSMENT (-) New operation but no job losses elsewhere

Infrastructure: Access arrangements

1.5.13 The mineral would be delivered to markets by road using the existing access onto the B6540.

ASSESSMENT (-) The site has direct access to a B road

Resources/Yield

1.5.14 The latest estimates indicated that the site would yield 1.26 million tonnes of sand and gravel from an extraction area of 20.8 hectares. This equates to 60,577 tph.

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

Transport - Mode

1.5.15 The operator has confirmed that the processed material would be transported by road from a distribution point at the former Hemington Quarry.

ASSESSMENT (-) Road transport proposed

Transport - Distance to Markets

1.5.16 The mineral would be used to supply local construction markets and concrete products manufacturing. The main market areas for the mineral are Leicestershire, Derbyshire and Nottingham.

ASSESSMENT (++) Average distance to markets less than 20 miles

ECONOMIC TOTAL 17/24

SOCIAL CONSIDERATIONS

Visual Intrusion

1.5.17 The eastern edge of Shardlow lies some 200 metres away although a small enclave of housing, around Millfields, is closer, the nearest house lying only 50 metres away from the site boundary. The existing floodbank and mature hedgerows in the vicinity would ameliorate the impact of working to some extent. Properties on the southern edge of Wilne Lane that are on slightly higher ground have longer distance views over parts of the site but they are 300-400 metres away. FP12 runs along the canal towpath allowing views of the site, particularly where there are gaps in the boundary hedgerow.

ASSESSMENT (+) The site has few visually sensitive receptors but large parts (or more than one part) of the sites will be visible from them

Noise

1.5.18 The nearest noise sensitive properties are the small enclave of housing, around Millfields, only 50 metres away from the site boundary. The eastern edge of Shardlow lies some 200 metres away.

ASSESSMENT (-) The site has somenoise sensitive receptors within 500m of the boundary of the site

Nuisance Dust

1.5.19 Dust tends not a major problem associated with the extraction of river gravels due to the wet nature of the mineral. The nearest dust sensitive properties, the small enclave of housing around Millfields are only 50 metres. The eastern part of Shardlow village and Great Wilne lie within 500 metres of the site. These areas lie to the west of the site and therefore the prevailing westerly winds should assist in alleviating any potential dust problems.

ASSESSMENT (-) The site has some dust sensitive receptors within 500m of the boundary of the site

Air Quality/Human Health

1.5.20 The site does not contain or lie within 1000m of any designated Air Quality Management Areas in which air quality objectives are not being met, which so far in Derby and Derbyshire have been associated with road traffic pollution.

ASSESSMENT (+) The site does not lie within 1000m of an AQMA.

Transport - Local Amenity

1.5.21 The as dug mineral would be transported to by barge to a processing plant at the former Hemington Quarry across the river. From there transport vehicles would access a road (B6540) in Leicestershire before shortly joining the A50/M1 on route to the majority of the established markets. The B6540 passes through the built up area of Long Eaton and therefore lorries travelling to end users via this route would pass many sensitive receptors, although these were a limited proportion of the users of mineral from the former Hemington Quarry.

ASSESSMENT (-)Heavy goods vehicles would pass some sensitive receptors to reach the main market areas

Potential Benefits of the Proposed After-Use

1.5.22 The previous application proposed that the site would be reclaimed to a series of lakes with a central area of agricultural land. Five separate lakes were proposed, with each lake connected to the others by buried culverts to promote through flow. All of the lakes would retain relatively steep sides and narrow margins to accord with the requirements of East Midlands Airport. The conservation value of the lakes therefore is somewhat tempered by the need to discourage hazardous birds due to the vicinity of the airport.

1.5.23 The lakes would, however, provide additional recreational provision through the creation of fishing lakes and there would be increased public access to the site. Additionally, the possibility of securing a Greenway route on the northern edge of the proposed site for the upgrade of the Midshires Way through Derbyshire was explored and could form part of the restoration of the site.

ASSESSMENT (+) Two of the benefits (economic, social, environmental) arising from the proposed after use.

Cumulative Impact

1.5.24 There have been mineral workings in the area in the past for a significant number of years but there are none currently in operation.

ASSESSMENT (-)Impacts from past and existing mineral workings

Airport Safeguarding

1.5.25 We have established in consultation with East Midlands Airport the degree to which the suggested sites pose a potential risk to aircraft safety taking into account how the airport operates. This site is well within the 13 km safeguarding zone around the airport lying only 4 kilometres to the north east of the airport. East Midlands Airport has indicated that this site lies within an area where there is a medium potential risk of birdstrike. They have agreed in principle to the reclamation of water areas on this site provided that they are designed and managed so as not to attract birds that would be hazardous to aircraft safety.

ASSESSMENT (-) Site lies within an area where there is a medium potential risk of birdstrike

 SOCIAL TOTAL 19/29

 

ENVIRONMENTAL CONSIDERATIONS

Water Environment

1.5.26 The site is situated on a Minor Aquifer but is not within a Groundwater Source Protection Zone. Given that the site is located adjacent or near to water courses, i.e. River Trent and River Derwent and other surrounding water features e.g. Trent and Mersey Canal, it would require dewatering. An EIA would be required, detailing the effects of this de-watering on the surrounding water environment and what mitigation measures, if any, would be required to deal with any adverse impacts. Correct pollution prevention procedures would need to be followed to prevent contamination of groundwater and the surrounding water environment.

1.5.27 The site lies within the floodplain of the Trent, in a Flood Zone 3 where there is a high risk of flooding and therefore a flood risk assessment would be required by the EA. The assessment would need to cover as a minimum:

  • That the physical integrity of any watercourses will be safeguarded by allowing adequate margins between the banks of the watercourse and excavation unless circumstances allow for the 'stand-off strip' to be worked
  • That the effectiveness of local land drainage systems will be preserved
  • That the functioning of the natural floodplain will be preserved

Water Environment - Flooding

1.5.28 The site lies within the Trent floodplain within flood zone 3 where there is a high risk of flooding.

ASSESSMENT (--)The site lies within flood zone 3 where there isa high probability of flooding.

Water Environment - Groundwater

1.5.29 The site lies outside a groundwater protection zone.

ASSESSMENT (+) The site lies outside a groundwater protection zone.

Water Environment - Aquifer

1.5.30 Site lies on a minor Aquifer

ASSESSMENT (-) Site lies on a minor aquifer.

Ecology

Presence or absence of existing impacts from mineral extraction

1.5.31 None visible or affecting coherence.

ASSESSMENT(-) Only localised, limited impacts associated with mineral extraction within or adjacent to the site

Presence or absence of priority habitats and species

1.5.32 Cow Way Drain candidate Wildlife Site and river margins, together with semi or unimproved wet grasslands provide UK priority habitats. Several large/veteran trees. High bat potential. Sustainably managed

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

Ecological coherence: Natural Areas, Wildlife Corridors/Linkages

1.5.33 The proposed site is in a highly sensitive location at the confluence of the Trent and Derwent and the Trent and Mersey Canal. It is currently a large and coherent area containing habitants characteristic of Natural Area. Not impacted on by workings in Leicestershire.

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

Habitat Creation

1.5.34 Existing habitats are intact and make a strong contribution to priority biodiversity targets for conservation. Even where some of the priority habitats were to be retained e.g. Cow Way Drain, the loss of the UK priority habitat wet grasslands would not be balanced by new open water areas, where the requirements of the EMANLD safeguarding critical area will limit wetland habitat creation.

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 from mineral extraction

1.5.35 The proposed site is located in the strategic area to the east of Hilton. The Landscape Character Assessment data records the immediate area as having insignificant or no impacts associated with mineral extraction.

ASSESSMENT(--)There are insignificant impacts associated with past mineral working

Existing Infrastructure

1.5.36 The infrastructure that was available at the quarry across the River Trent in Leicestershire has now been removed although the land could still be used to accommodate a new, temporary mobile plant that could utilise the access to the former quarry. Some potential slight adverse effect.

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

Strength of Landscape Character

1.5.37 The proposed site is a linear area of long narrow fields enclosed by dense hedgerows and scattered trees. It is bounded by the Trent and Mersey Canal to the north and the River Trent to the south and east. The villages of Great Wilne and Shardlow are situated to the west. There is some arable but the area is predominantly pastoral dissected by the meandering Cow Way drain. A line of dense watercourse trees, predominately pollarded willows, scattered oak and ash (some potentially veteran) visually define the brook course. Cow Way drain is a locally distinctive landscape and ecological feature. Hedgerows with many scattered hedgerow trees are in good condition. The site strongly accords with the established landscape character and is in good condition. The importance of this area as an example of this landscape character is heightened by the loss of a large proportion of similar areas in the locality.

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

Visual Impact

1.5.38 The site has few visual receptors but more than one part of the site could be visible.

ASSESSMENT (+) The site has few visual receptors but large parts (or more than one part) of the site will be visible

Historic Environment

Designated sites &settings

1.5.39 There are no designated heritage features within this site but the Trent and Mersey Canal Conservation Area adjoins the northern boundary.

ASSESSMENT (+) No perceivable impact on a designation and/or its setting

Archaeology

1.5.40 This area was subject to extensive evaluation for the previous planning application. The area was characterised by extensive ridge and furrow and the field pattern was largely unaltered from the early 19th century. There were in fact no cropmarks recognised but an extensive geophysical survey revealed evidence of two enclosures of Iron Age and Romano-British date, consequently the cropmarks have been judged positively. Extensive finds of artefacts were made during trial excavations in the two enclosures indicating well preserved archaeological deposits. The area which includes the enclosures was then omitted from the proposed area of extraction in the application. Extensive palaeochannels and ridge and swale features were also identified

ASSESSMENT (--)Extensive, visible and interpretable earthworks and/or known archaeology with high potential for buried remains.

Historic Landscape Character

1.5.41 The field pattern is largely unaltered from the early 19th century.

ASSESSMENT (--)Evidence of multi period landscape and/or intact field pattern (as indicated by 1st edition OS or earlier

Best and most versatile agricultural land

1.5.42 According to DEFRAs Predictive Agricultural Land Classification Map the majority of the site lies in an area where 20% to 60% of the land is likely to be classed as best and most versatile.

ASSESSMENT (+)The site lies in an area where there is a moderate likelihood of 'best and most versatile' agricultural land

 

ENVIRONMENTAL TOTAL = 27/56 (L)