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The Thornborough Henges


Thornborough Quarry plans suffer delay set-back

Quarry firm Tarmac Northern Ltd wants to open up a new area of extraction at
its sand and gravel quarry close to the Thornborough Henges. These proposals
have been the focus of widespread condemnation from heritage groups across
the UK.

In June 2004 Heritage Action raised concerns that Tarmac were trying to
derail the planning process by failing to submit important archaeological
documents with their planning application. The archaeological significance
of the Thornborough Henges is a paramount concern for a great many people.
Any plan submitted without taking into account archaeological evidence of
what is "in the ground" at Ladybridge is clearly not in accordance with
planning guidelines.

At that time North Yorkshire County Council chose to press ahead with the
application despite this report being omitted from the application. At that
time, Tarmac had apparently made a commitment to provide the missing report
by September 2004.

However, that report has not been forthcoming and is now not expected until
sometime around Christmas. With this in mind the council have decided to
delay any discussion about the Ladybridge application until the new year.

This turn of events is welcomed by Heritage Action. It should effectively
mean that a new consultation process will start the New Year, with a
revamped planning application that should fully take into account all of the
items required by planning rules, not just a selected few.

So far, North Yorkshire County Council have received an unprecedented number
of objections to the planning application thanks to Heritage Action's
Thornborough Campaign Team, who have been extremely proactive in lobbying
against this development.

A preliminary report of the plans was set to go before council committee
next month, but both Tarmac and English Heritage are now collecting further
archaeological information regarding the site. As a result, a new public
consultation process will have to follow early next year.

Chris Jarvis, of North Yorkshire County Council's Planning and Countryside
Unit, confirmed the delay this week.
He said: "The archaeological information being collected all forms part of
the consultation process and it is going to be some time before we get

Among those opposed to any further quarrying is top archaeologist Aubrey
Burl, who likened Tarmac's plans to "dropping Stonehenge into the River

The Council for British Archaeology (CBA), the Yorkshire Archaeological
Society (YAS) and the British Archaeological Trust (BAT) also oppose the
plans and the issue has been featured in the national press and the UK's
most popular archaeology publications.

Thornborough is now the target for growing international concern and is
becoming increasingly accepted as one of the UK's top heritage sites. Mr
Chaplin said "Tarmac and its parent company Anglo American Plc need to think
carefully how this (their application) is going to impact on their
international reputation".
Posted by BrigantesNation
22nd September 2004ce

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