Criticism mounting over Stanley quarry plans

More than 1.6 million tonnes of sand and gravel could be quarried from fields in Stanley, if plans are approved, with long-term hopes of turning the excavated land into fishing lakes and a nature reserve.

Friday, 10th July 2020, 7:00 am
The south-side quarry site from Ferry Lane bridge.

Wakefield Sand and Gravel Ltd has submitted the blueprints to begin digging on two fields that cover a combined total of 22 hectares and are separated by the River Calder.

The first sits on the south side of the river close to where Ferry Road meets Birkwood Road, with the second field opposite Stanley Waste Treatment Water Works, off Water Lane.

The company estimates it would excavate for approximately 11 years before filling the quarries in with water to provide a beauty spot.

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The report with the application reads: “Restoration would be progressive and would be completed approximately 12 months after extraction had ceased, giving an operational period of around 12 years.

“A lake or lakes would be created to be used for angling and amenity purposes.”

The applicant adds that the minerals unearthed would be transported from the site by barge, meaning there would be no additional road traffic.

Earth moved out of the fields would also be used to build up a three-metre-high screening mound perimeter around the site.

The company says the only other sauce of quality sand and gravel in West Yorkshire is in Dewsbury which is already being excavated.

The Stanley site would become the prime source once Dewsbury’s is exhausted. The company says that due to the pandemic, it has not been able to carry out a public consultation event, but the application has attracted a growing number of objections with 20 people so far expressing their concerns in writing.

One wrote: “Another nail in the coffin for Stanley’s green fields. Constant noise and dust for 11 years. Totally unfair.

Another said: “This proposal will ruin the area, cause pollution and kill wildlife.”