How a successful campaign will support the objectives of FOUR:
HGV's create noise, dust, vibration and are intimidating to other road users (including cyclists and pedestrians) when travelling along the narrow roads of Upper Ribblesdale. This proposal would increase the number of HGVs on the roads between Ingleton and Horton-in-Ribblesdale. The presence of so many HGVs is totally at odds with the National Yorkshire Dales National Park of creating a 'special place; a place of natural beauty and diversity, a place of grandeur, a place of tranquility and solitude, a place to be refreshed and invigorated, and a place to enjoy the challenges of the hills'.
FOUR Objective: to improve the quality of life of people who live in Upper Ribblesdale.
HGVs create noise, dust and vibration and are unpleasant for people who live and work close to the roads on which the HGVs travel. Fewer HGVs travelling through Upper Ribblesdale will make the area more attractive visitor destination which in turn will make it more sustainable and supportive of a wide range of shops and services for local residents.
FOUR's Response to the Planning Application:
FOUR considers that the proposed justification for the movement of silt between Ingleton and Horton quarries is insufficient to outweigh the policy principle of reducing the impact of HGV traffic on the National Park’s communities and environment. Furthermore, we are of the view that this application raises wider sustainability issues that count against it.
We consider that the application to export silt from Ingleton is a direct result of the company’s operational plans and practices and could have been avoided. It is also, we fear, a precursor to the possible extension of the operating life of Ingleton quarry beyond 2018, and would have the unintended consequence of further delaying the progress of installing a rail link at Horton. This would in turn have a material impact on the National Park Authority’s policy ambition to reduce combined road haulage from the Ribblesdale quarries by at least 50% from the end of 2015, as stated in section C6 of the draft National Park Management Plan.
We do not consider that this application is as simple or trivial as has been suggested, given the issues that we raise above. We have encouraged Hanson to withdraw the application so that these matters might be considered more fully, especially given the ongoing dialogue on the timetable for installing a rail link at Horton.
We would like to know what alternatives have been considered and dismissed in favour of the current proposal and so that the bigger picture can be explained. Why, for example, can the silt not be stored at Ingleton quarry? Has an Environmental Impact Assessment been carried out regarding the proposal and its alternatives? We suggest that Hanson should explain its strategic thinking with regard to the future of both Ingleton and Horton quarries, particularly with regard to gritstone extraction. Is the thinking now to delay extraction at Horton, which we assume would be accompanied by the installation of a rail link, in favour of extending Ingleton’s working life and is the application for silt movement part of that thinking?
We would like to reiterate that we are not anti-quarrying per se, but we are concerned to ensure that the impacts of quarrying activity on the communities and environment of Upper Ribblesdale are taken fully into account during the decision-making process. To that end, if Hanson declines to withdraw this application we believe that the National Park Authority has no option other than to refuse it, because of the wider implications it raises for prolonging quarrying activity in Upper Ribblesdale, and, significantly, because of the likely delay that it would cause to achieving the draft Management Plan objective of reducing HGV traffic in the National Park. If you are not in a position to recommend an outright refusal we request this application be deferred so that further information can be made available to enable a better informed outcome.