Planning permission was granted for the existing quarry in August 2013 (Application Ref 12/0570/FULL) enabling the extraction of circa 977,000 tonnes of high quality pennant sandstone. The quarry has been identified by the South Wales Regional Aggregates Working Party as ‘high specification aggregate’ (HSA), a scarce and high quality aggregate and one of a limited number of such sites in Wales which are regarded as ‘special’ on account of their physical and visual characteristics; indeed, the quarry is one of a limited number of such sites in the whole of the UK. The pennant sandstone is used for road surfacing materials because of its high quality specification which enjoys the highest ‘polished stone value’ (PSV) in Wales.
The quarry therefore provides a valuable and scarce mineral resource that makes a significant contribution to Wales and the UK’s HSA landbank, of which there is a national demand.
As part of the above planning permission details of a proposed landscape bund were submitted to the Council, with the landscape bund located to the north of the quarry. Upon implementation of the quarry works, it was discovered that the location of the bund coincided with a 2m deep area of peat and that the quantities of available and suitable materials anticipated for the bund were not present. This area of peat prevented the construction of the bund in the desired original location because the peat would have collapsed under the weight of the machinery needed to form the bund and the weight of the proposed bund itself. Works on the relocated bund have commenced but have not been completed.
The landscape bund will be formed and landscaped using the same principles as the previously proposed and approved bund, and is in line with subsequent pre-application feedback provided by the Council. This application seeks to regularise the relocated bund.