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Flood risk concerns over plans to restore North Yorkshire quarry

Flood risk concerns over plans to restore North Yorkshire quarry

Published by Local Democracy Reporter Stuart Minting at 2:25pm 6th April 2020.

One of the North of England’s largest waste management companies has been told it must prove its plans to restore a former quarry in the grounds of a grade I listed Jacobean mansion will not “exacerbate flood risk to others”.

  • Yorwaste has lodged a planning application to restore a quarry in North Yorkshire.  
  • The Environment Agency is objecting to the proposals because of the flood risk. 
  • It wants the waste management company to carry out a Flood Risk Assessment.

Yorwaste, which is owned by City of York Council and North Yorkshire County Council, has lodged a planning application with the latter authority to restore and landscape Kiplin Hall Quarry, which is a stone’s throw from the property built from 1619 for George Calvert, the founder of Maryland, USA.

Documents submitted to planners highlight how the hall and surrounding gardens are assets of national significance, but the quarry plant site has not been restored since mineral extraction was closed in 2012.

While the majority of the former workings have been restored to wetland areas, woodland and grass habitats, the waste firm, which more than half a million business and trade waste collections annually, gained planning permission in 2017 to change the use of the plant site to a recycling facility for the treatment of waste wood.

The plant site covers a large tract of low lying land to the immediate north of the River Swale.

North Yorkshire County Council
North Yorkshire County Council

The documents state:

“The Yorwaste scheme represented a new opportunity to provide control over the restoration of the entirety of the plant site”, but as the waste recycling scheme did not go ahead in 2018, the firm has been left with responsibility for restoring the site."

The application adds:

“The site is situated in a sensitive landscape and cultural heritage setting, with the added sensitivity of surrounding ecological habitats and the situation in a floodplain setting.”

The documents outline the restoration scheme’s objectives as being sympathetic to the surrounding landscape an cultural heritage, providing a net increase in biodiversity value and low level recreational access to integrate with other permissive links across the hall’s gardens.

Other ambitions include retaining woodland and water features on the plant site.

However, in a consultation response, the Environment Agency said it was objecting to the proposals.

It said the proposal features raising the level of land classified as flood zone three, a zone designated to areas thought to have the highest chance of flooding.

The agency said the firm needed to submit a Flood Risk Assessment (FRA) as the flood risks posed by the development flood are unknown.

An agency spokesman said:

“To overcome our objection, the applicant should submit an FRA which demonstrates that the development is safe without increasing risk elsewhere. Where possible, it should reduce flood risk overall.

“There is no detail on what impacts this may have on others, or, if there is a loss of flood storage, or, if levels are being raised above original site levels. The applicant should submit information to clearly demonstrate that their proposals do not increase or exacerbate flood risk to others – i.e. do not displace flood flows onto others.

“If this cannot be achieved, we are likely to maintain our objection.”