Our Planning Application

The application is for planning permission to extend Linhay Hill Quarry to the north east of the current quarry boundary where there are limestone deposits under land owned by Glendinning, at Alston alongside the A38 Devon Expressway.

Linhay Hill Quarry and Alston are located on the very edge of the Dartmoor National Park area which ends at the A38 dual carriageway.

The application has been prepared over the last 2 years or so, and the proposals in the application are a revision of the earlier proposals.

The area nearest the current operations would be quarried as an extension to the existing quarry at Linhay Hill, while the adjacent area to south east and north east will be used to create screening banks (“bunds”) using overburden (the soil on top of the limestone) from the early stages of the quarry extension. Overburden from the later stages will be backfilled into the existing quarry, which will have been deepened first to extract limestone down to 0m AOD, instead of 28m AOD, the current depth limit. About 52% of the overburden will be backfilled into the quarry (rather than 16% in the earlier proposals).

The proposed quarry extension area is approximately 32 hectares overall (rather than 44 hectares in the earlier proposals). About 21 hectares will be used for extraction while the remaining 11 hectares will be used for tipping overburden into screening bunds. Further land will be used for associated landscape planting and ecological mitigation.

The quarry extension will require Alston Lane and its junction on to the A38 to be removed. A replacement route will be provided passing to the south of dwellings at Waye, before joining the track and public footpath running between Alston Lane and Balland Lane, commonly referred to as Waye Lane. New access will also be provided to Alston Farm and Alston Cottage and to Lower Waye.

Following a suggestion by the Ashburton Town Council, local improvements will be made to the narrow part of Balland Lane along the south of the existing quarry to allow coaches to use this route as they leave the school after dropping off or collecting pupils. This will help relieve congestion on the lower part of Balland Lane. Other community benefit proposals include small flood water storage ponds to catch surface water runoff to reduce flood risk in Ashburton downstream and permissive footpaths.

The proposed extension will:

  • Not damage protected open moorland
  • Not lead to any change in the rate of extraction nor to any change to the current arrangements of processing extracted materials in Linhay Hill Quarry
  • Not increase profit or productivity – it would maintain and secure the current business activity
  • Not increase lorry traffic movement to and from the Linhay Hill Quarry site, nor change the existing main quarry entrance or current access on to the A38 junction
  • Not require compulsory purchase of private land or property

The Extension

The extension proposals have been subdivided into several stages during which the extension area will be progressively quarried, with overburden from the early stages placed in bunds that gradually surround the quarry extension area over a period of 31 years. Overburden from the later stages will be backfilled into the base of the existing quarry. From the commencement of works, it is estimated that it will take approximately 46 years for the whole of the new extraction area to be opened for quarrying. From this point, quarrying in the extended extraction area will proceed by deepening.

Geology of the Proposed Extension Area

The proposed extension area is mapped as being underlain with Devonian Limestone by the British Geological Survey and the presence and quality of the resource has been confirmed by drilling.

Source: Devon (South) Mineral Resource Information in Support of National Regional and Local Planning, Mineral Resources 1:100,000 map, BGS & ODPM

Key Limestone
  • Limestone formations

Igneous & Metamorphic Rocks
  • Mafic igneous rocks
  • Granite
  • Thermal metamorphic aureole (Dartmoor only)
  • National Park: Dartmoor

Key Stages

Stage 0
Stage 0 will comprise widening Balland Lane, construction of the replacement route for Aston Lane, diversion of public footpath and services, and other preliminary works. Quarrying in LHQ continues.
Years from start of operations (approx.)

Years 1-2

Bund building

n/a

Operations in LHQ

Quarrying continues in LHQ

Extraction in Extension area

n/a

Stage 1
Stage 1 comprises two sub stages a and b. This stage sees quarrying in the first line of fields in the extension area, with overburden placed in ‘bunds’ adjacent to the A38 and west of Caton. Quarrying in the existing quarry is focussed on deepening to 28m OAD.
Years from start of operations (approx.)

Stage 1a
years 2-10

Stage 1b
years 10-13

Bund building

Two 4 month campaigns in years 2 and 10

Operations in LHQ

Quarrying continues in LHQ down to 28m AOD

Extraction in Extension area

In Years 2 to 13

Stage 2
Stage 2 is also sub divided into sub stages a and b. In this stage quarrying is progressed to the second line of fields in the extension area. Further overburden is placed in bunds west of Caton. Quarrying in the existing quarry is focussed on deepening to 0m OAD.
Years from start of operations (approx.)

Stage 2a
years 14-15

Stage 2b
years 16-31

Bund building

Two 4 month campaigns in years 13 and 16

Operations in LHQ

Quarrying continues in LHQ down to 0m AOD

Extraction in Extension area

In years 14 to 31

Stage 3
Stage 3 sees quarrying progress to the west of Alston Cottage across about 2/3 of the width of the extension area. The overburden is backfilled in the base of the existing quarry.
Years from start of operations (approx.)

Years 31-40

Bund building

None

Operations in LHQ

One 4 month campaign of back hauling overburden in year 31

Extraction in Extension area

In years 32 to 40

Stage 4
In Stage 4 quarrying extends across the remainder of the extension area. The overburden is backfilled in the base of the existing quarry.
Years from start of operations (approx.)

Year 41-46

Bund building

none

Operations in LHQ

Three 4 month campaigns of back hauling overburden in years 40, 43 and 46

Extraction in Extension area

In years 41 to 46

Stage 5
Stage 5 does not involve any further changes on the surface, but sees the quarry extension progressively deepened until it is worked out to its full extent. The final extraction is below the plant area in the south east of the existing quarry.
Years from start of operations (approx.)

Years 46-60+

Bund building

None

Operations in LHQ and extension area

Quarrying in years 46 to 60+, including removal of existing plant and recovery of limestone in plant area.

Stage 6
Stage 6 - Restoration
Timing

Progressive restoration of bunds and higher benches during stages 1-5, elsewhere on completion of stage 5.

Operations in LHQ and extension area

Quarry void fills with water and restoration of edges is completed. Adjacent areas made available for amenity and employment uses.

Note: years are counted from the start of operations and are based on the current rate of extraction at Linhay Hill Quarry. In reality the rate of extraction is determined by demand from the construction industry and other customers, hence all timing is approximate.

The stages are illustrated in the following drawings

Stage 0: Years 1-2

Stage 1: Years 2-13

Stage 2: Years 14-31

Stage 3: Years 31-40

Stage 4: Years 40-46

Stage 5: Years 46-60+

Stage 6: Final Restoration