Pledge Over Ancient Site Quarrying
A decision on plans to quarry near an ancient monument known as "Britain's best kept prehistoric secret" will not be rushed, North Yorkshire Council has promised.
The council is considering an application by Tarmac Northern to extract sand and gravel from Ladybridge Farm at Nosterfield, near Ripon, which is within a mile of Thornborough Henges – three 5,500-year-old ancient monuments forming part of a sacred landscape across North Yorkshire.
English Heritage is among the opponents of quarrying until more archaeological investigations are carried out.
The council is waiting for archaeological information from Tarmac, which will form part of the company's environmental statement in support of its plans.
Tarmac has sought to reassure local people, including the Friends of Thornborough Henges, who oppose any further quarrying, that the Ladybridge Farm application for an 111-acre quarrying extension would not damage the area's archaeology.
Simon Smales, North Yorkshire's assistant director (planning and countryside unit), responded to Friends' criticism over the council's handling of the planning application, saying it would be determined in the same way as any other scheme. He said: "Far from putting anyone at a disadvantage, the county council is providing everyone who has an interest in this particular application a period of time far in excess of that required by law to formulate their views and provide their comments.
"The county council must strike a balance between complying with the relevant legislation, the efficient handling of a planning application and obtaining the views of those people who are affected by, or have an interest in, a proposed development."
Mr Smales said the usual 21-day period for responses had been extended by a week to July 30 and the Friends had been told the council would accept representations received up to September 30.
Planning officers are not expected to prepare a report for councillors before late October and a site visit would follow.
See http://snipurl.com/7rz8 for the original article by Julie Hemmings, as published on 14th July 2004 on the YorkshireToday web site.
Posted by BrigantesNation
15th July 2004ce
Edited 15th July 2004ce