One of the most objected-to planning applications in years has been refused by Bradford Council.
Almost 900 people had objected to plans to re-open Horn Crag Quarry in Silsden – plans that would see 520,000 tonnes of Yorkshire Stone taken from the site.
And this week planning officers refused the application, saying they were not acceptable in an “area of distinct character.”
They also raised concerns about the quarry’s impact on water supplies in the area.
A.D. Calvert Architectural Stone Supplies first applied for planning permission to re-open the 5.9 hectare Green Belt site as a quarry last year.
That application was eventually withdrawn – but re-emerged earlier this year.
The company argued that the stone that would be quarried was vital for the maintenance and restoration of stone buildings, saying there was a “demonstrable need” for such stone.
The application said it will likely take until 2043 to remove all the stone needed, and there would be a maximum of 10 HGV movements a day.
After this time the site would be restored.
891 people wrote to Bradford Council to object to the plans, with a further 51 people writing to support them.
Objectors said the area’s roads were not suitable for HGVs, that it would damage the environment and impact local wildlife.
Among the organisations to object were the Environment Agency, who questioned the re-opened quarry’s impact on the local water supply.
They said: “The risks to groundwater from the development are unacceptable. The applicant has not supplied adequate information to demonstrate that the risks posed to groundwater can be satisfactorily managed.”
Refusing the plans, officers said: “for such a proposal to be acceptable it needs to be demonstrated that it will not have an unacceptable adverse impacts on people or the environment in terms of pollution, flooding or land stability risks, or harm to amenity, heritage assets or their settings, or harm the character of the landscape.
“It is evident that the application does have a number of unacceptable adverse impacts, including impacts on the character of the landscape, biodiversity, people, the environment, water pollution, amenity, tourism and recreation.
Officers also questioned why this particular site was so vital to the supply of Yorkshire Stone.
They said: “Although it is accepted there is a need for high quality dimension stone and walling stone, and that it is preferable that it is locally sourced, it should be noted that the stone is not a scarce mineral, it can be sourced from other quarries within the Bradford District/West Yorkshire and it is arguable there are areas within the Bradford District that are more suitable/sustainable to provide such stone.”