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More quarrying near henges set for go ahead

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Author Topic: More quarrying near henges set for go ahead  (Read 85 times)
Robin Barquenast
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« on: August 29, 2008, 12:38:42 am »

More quarrying near henges set for go ahead

Thornborough Henges - near the proposed quarrying site.

THE final go-ahead is expected to be given next week for further quarrying close to one of the area's most important ancient sites.
On Tuesday members of the county council's planning committee will be recommended to approve a controversial application by Tarmac to quarry of 1.1 million tonnes of sand and gravel from farmland less than a mile from the Neolithic Thornborough Henges.

The latest move comes after years of argument over whether more quarrying should be allowed close to a site that has been described as 'The Stonehenge of the North'.

Tarmac's existing Nosterfield Quarry, near Bedale, produces 500,000 tonnes of sand and gravel a year and the new permission would extend its life by two years.

An application for a larger site was refused permission in February, 2006, because North Yorkshire County Councillors decided the extraction of 2.2 million tonnes of aggregate would have an unacceptable impact on the archaeological remains.

revised scheme

But in January last year approval was given to a revised scheme extending quarrying across 76 acres of Ladybridge Farm at Nosterfield.

That decision was quashed after The Friends of Thornborough Henges began a legal challenge in the High Court.

Now the application has been reviewed and when planning committee members meet at Masham Town Hall on Tuesday the Director of Business and Environmental Services, Richard Flinton, will recommend that permission be granted.

In a report to councillors, Mr Flinton says: "It is considered that there are now no grounds for refusing this application on matters relating specifically to archaeology."


The Yorkshire branch of the Council for British Archaeology (CBS) remains opposed to the scheme because of its fears about affects on the Thornborough Henges.

The CBA says it considers the application by Tarmac would have an unacceptable impact on the setting and says the archaeological remains from the Neolithic and Bronze Age should be preserved in situ.

The Friends of Thornborough Henges have renewed their objection and Yorkshire Archaeological Society says the quarrying will have "an unacceptably erosive impact upon an overall archaeological landscape."

But English Heritage has welcomed the revised scheme. It said: "We feel it has addressed our initial concerns with regard to the preservation of archaeological deposits of national importance by omitting the southwest corner of the previous application site."

On Tuesday of this week, more than 500 new letters of objection were handed to North Yorkshire County Council by members of TimeWatch - adding to the 1,500 letters previously collected as part of the campaign group's opposition to quarrying at the Ladybridge site.

'no threat'

Tarmac has stressed that its quarrying activities are not a threat to the henges.

A spokesman said this week: "No part of the Thornborough henges scheduled ancient monument is on the Ladybridge application site and no planning application has been made to quarry at the scheduled monument, now or in the future."

The full article contains 490 words and appears in Northallerton Thirsk Bedale newspaper.
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Last Updated: 22 August 2008 11:11 AM
Source: Northallerton Thirsk Bedale
Location: Harrogate
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