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Rivington Against Greenbelt ExploitationRAGE Public Meeting March 22nd 2011
Agenda Introductions Thank You What is this Quarry stuff all about? - The Grand Plan Situation update What do we want? What can we do? We need your help!
Introductions Armstrongs representatives ?? Press Council Officials BHEAG - Blackrod & Horwich Environmental Action Group RAGE - Rivington Against Greenbelt Exploitation www.RivingtonRage.org
Thank You All for attending & RMI for hosting - drinks BHEAG , Montcliffe RA, Arcon RA, Horwich Moor RA Their work so far Helpers Many people who delivered almost 10,000 leaflets Dan for organising the leaflet drop Lizz for all the email updates Rich for setting up website Conrad for printing 5,000 of the leaflets & helping with design Warren for setting up the charitable status Others who have provided information, put up the poster, written to Bolton Council, talked to council officials, done questionnaires, spread the word etc..
Rivington Pike Montcliffe & Pilkington Quarries APPROVED Pilkington Quarry Extension Georges Lane Chorley Old Road M 61 Chorley New Road
The Grand Plan Montcliffe and Pilkington Quarries are both operated by Armstrongs Obvious concerns (fires, smells, fines) not relevant to planning Recent Environmental conviction IS relevant to planning (appeal) Create a huge ‘recycling’ and waste tip facility Knock through between Montcliffe & Pilkington creates mega quarry The mega quarry may create the ‘very special circumstances’ required for Greenbelt development Cannot be achieved in one planning permission Over-development in green belt Smaller step by step planning applications used instead
Armstrongs We are NOT fighting Armstrongs, we ARE seeking a planning process that considers planning law, the environment and local residents. It’s true that we wouldn’t choose him as a neighbour - as his companies do seem to excel at upsetting people! Bolton News reported in Jan 2011 - Armstrongs found guilty of: Breaching environmental permit Failing to comply with an enforcement notice Two day trial at Bolton Magistrates’ Court - the court heard Waste on Armstrongs land had not been correctly stored Could pollute water or cause a smell Armstrongs pleaded Not Guilty to two charges and said: The Environment Agency official lied There was no smell! We understand that Armstrongs intend to appeal this decisions
Contaminated & Unstable Buttress APPROVED extension to Pilkington Stone to be removed between 2 quarries Montcliffe to be used for HUGE ‘recycling facility’ Pilkington to be used for dumping material that can’t be recycled
Evidence for Stone & Aggregates Greater Manchester Joint Minerals Development Plan Submission from Armstrongs Representatives (MPG – Minerals Planning Group) 18th Dec 2009 “We would like to nominate Pilkington Quarry extension area and possible land between Montcliffe and Pilkington Quarries as specific sites for consideration.” NOTE Since then Pilkington Extension has been approved but we are seeking a Judicial Review (JR) Any big hole made by quarrying can then be filled up again by waste. Both quarries operated by a waste managment company.
Evidence – Waste 1 Greater Manchester Joint Waste Development Plan MPG submission - 22nd Dec 2009 Please find enclosed two potential waste sites [Montcliffe Quarry & Pilkington Quarry] to be considered in your production of the Greater Manchester Waste Development Plan Both rejected - No NEW greenbelt facilities considered However – if planning permission is given by Bolton Council for a waste facility it can then be considered by Greater Manchester Waste
Evidence – Waste 2 Potential Facility – “State of the art materials recovery park waste recycling station” Capacity – “Potential to recycle over 1 million tonnes of material p.a. Based on traffic numbers of 200 in and 200 out per day” = 400 HGV movements ON TOP of Pilkington Quarry lorries!!!! Environment Agency state Chorley New Road recycled 70 thousand tonnes in 2008 14 times less than this proposal! 400 HGV movements also assumes no vehicles leave empty – very unlikely, so the actual figure could potentially double “[Bolton]council have already been approached with the concept of this recycling facility which was considered to potentially ‘have merit’”. (Dec 2009)
Evidence – Waste 3 Proposed potential waste types: Construction & demolition waste Dust, noise Green plant matter composting Smell, dust Metal Noise Cardboard Dust, fire hazard Co-mingled materials Plastic & metal bottles, cans, containers Cars Pollution, fire, noise Timber Fire
Green plant matter composting Timber Recycling Green plant matter store Car Recycling Co-mingled materials Lorry Park Metal & Cardboard Container storage & Car Parking Waste Transfer Station Visitor Centre ! Fuel farm & pumps Vehicle workshop, & Lorry Wash Main Offices & Welfare! Security, Weighbridge & Transport Office
Evidence – Waste 4 “The restoration of this site [Pilkington Quarry] offers an infill opportunity. If approval can be granted for an extension to the quarry this would increase the void and capacity of the site.” Shows importance of blocking current planning consent (JR) Capacity – “2.5 million cubic metre void space (including extension area), which would hold ~4.5 million tonnes of inert C&D [construction & demolition – inert only] material.
Planning Applications Update 80931/08 – Rejected Oct 2009 – Appeal withdrawn Jan 2011 83299/09 – Granted Oct 2010 – Judicial Review – Quashed 83999/09 – Granted Oct 2010 – Judicial Review - Quashed 84065/10 – Granted Jan 2011 – Judicial Review Question – Do we have the support & funds to continue ?
Judicial Review (JR) Legal review of planning decisions in the courts Plus – Objective, only planning issues relevant, gives us a voice Minus – Expensive, so we do need your financial support This only cancels the decision - the applicant can re apply Buxtons Solicitors – Environmental & Public Law Specialists Threat of JR and strength of case led to 2 planning permissions being quashed Solicitor funded by some local residents & bheag Donations please JR against Pilkington Extension is currently being contested by Bolton Council
Judicial Review (JR) Why are we having go through this process? Is it because ... Bolton Council would receive revenue from the quarries? The same organisation that advises Bolton Council on locations for waste, also advises on whether mineral permissions should be approved?(Urban Vision) The Council would really like Armstrong to move away from the Loco works so the 1600 homes can be built? They are already spending large sums on the Chorley Old Road retaining wall in preparation for all the HGVs?
Montcliffe Quarry Was run well by Hanson’s and ARC and due to close in 2011 Low level restoration to commence after closure Consent was only awarded after applicant stated they would not ask for a further extension. Operation transferred from Hanson to GCN LTD Registered at Armstrong’s on Chorley New Road Extraction end date is 21st September 2011 Armstrongs have indicated they will apply for extension for extracting for up to 10 years We want current end date & restoration plans to be honoured
The Fence! Minor point compared to major planning issues! Current sighting & colour shows contempt of the visual environment & concerns of residents Armstrongs have verbally committed to move sighting of fence & paint green! No statement so far on planned extent of fencing
What do we want? We want to stop the Quarries in Rivington Greenbelt becoming a giant waste processing centre and waste dump! We want planning applications to receive proper, lawful & fair assessment We want the voice of local residents to be properly heard We don’t want hundreds of HGVs every day: Through the centre of Horwich & local road network Past a school, church, leisure centre and houses We want Bolton Council & Armstrongs come clean about their long term plans for Montcliffe & Pilkington quarries
What can we do? - Nothing Illegal! Quarry row firm warns people not to trespass - Bolton News - 1st February 2011 “Bosses at Armstrongs Environmental Services say they have had reports that two men trespassed on the firm’s land on January 20 and took photographs of the site. [Presume Montcliffe Quarry but not specified]. A spokesman claims one of the men was aggressive to a disabled member of staff when he was confronted.” Company chiefs have insisted trespassing will not be tolerated and have sent a solicitor’s letter to local organisations warning them of the consequences. “Not only is there an extreme risk of injury to those persons trespassing, it is also against the law. The quarries are monitored by 24-hour security and any such persons found on the site without authority will be reported to the police and a prosecution will be sought. In addition, if our client suffers any damage as a result of those persons trespassing on site, our client may take action through the civil courts for sufficient recompense to be made.” “We would be grateful if you could inform your members that any unauthorised persons found on site will be reported immediately to the relevant authorities.”
What can we do? - Visibility Raise the profile – showing support STOP the QUARRY - Window Poster RAGE Badge (min £10 donation) Other ideas / contributions welcome e.g. Garden / field posters Hats, t-shirts etc Events Volunteers
What can we do? – Gaining Support Getting Organised Charitable status – RAGE Hundreds of Email subscribers & Facebook followers Thousands of bheag website visitors RivingtonRage.org website set up
What can we do? – Petition Target at least 4,000 signatures Really get us noticed Friends, relatives, neighbours, colleagues ... Easter Weekend – Petition (Volunteers) Good Friday – Easter Pike Fair (22nd April) Easter Saturday - Rivington Pike Race (23rd April) 4,000 signatures means petition has to receive a full council debate (200 sheets) • “The people of Horwich & surrounding areas demand a voice in major planning decisions that will impact their lives for decades” • Please take some with you & get them filled in
What can we do? - Fundraising Cheques payable to.. Rivington Against Greenbelt Exploitation PayPal on RivingtonRage.org website Gift Aid details – fill in form after the meeting Almost £10,000 already contributed by individuals & local residents associations in last 2 years – mainly legal bills £1,500 raised in last 10 days - brilliant! £4,500 needed by end March to get Judicial Review to court More needed if taken to court Last time Bolton Council backed down More funds required for ongoing legal battles & campaign
We Need Your Help? Be there – Turn up, sign up to emails, show poster Help out – Petition, leaflets & protest letters Get Involved – Time, skills, organising Financial Support Some have given > £ thousands, some hundreds – all welcome! No time-wasters please! We are not short of ideas, arguments, concerns, things to complain about etc... We ARE short of time, expertise, finance Please don’t commit to something you cannot do!
We need your help Treasurer Proper accounting of all funds raised & spent ExpertiseLegal, Planning, Environmental Photographs Photos of lorries on Chorley Old Road etc causing a nuisance Or - scenic pictures of Georges Lane & West Pennine Moors ResearchReading documents, finding issues, errors & inconsistencies e.g. WPM Documents Evidence of promises / commitments made by prior quarry operators Campaigners Organise support, leaflet drops FundRaisers Coordinate donations, fund raising events Administration Follow up meetings, coordinate volunteers etc... Supporters Who do you know? Neighbours, interest groups e.g. Cyclists, fell runners, horse riders, ramblers or famous people Please let us know of any expertise you have that could be useful
What can we do? Try and defeat each quarry planning permission Environmental issues – water, waste, noise, dust, visual impact Traffic movements – hundreds of HGVs through Horwich Green belt Removal of public footpaths Planning process Judicial review Let Bolton Council know we mean business & won’t go away Hearts & Minds – Save Rivington & the West Pennine Moors !
Next Steps Regular meetings to keep all up to date Judicial Review for recently approved planning ACTIONS Please volunteer to help Fundraising – donate min £10 for a badge & WEAR IT! Display ‘STOP the QUARRY’ Continue Georges Lane questionnaire for PR research Next meeting in May - TBC Easter Weekend - Petition Good Friday – Easter Pike Fair (22nd April) Easter Saturday - Rivington Pike Race (23rd April)
What Now? Stay after for... Drinks at the bar (support RMI who have supported this meeting) Donations, badges & gift aid forms Table A Pick up Petitions & Posters Table B Offer of help & Information Table C