To: Cheshire East Planning[[email protected]];
Subject: CRANAGE PARISH COUNCIL
Sent: Wed 8/16/2017 10:52:36 AM
From: Julie Mason

17/3605W Land at Rudheath Lodge, New Platt Lane, Cranage and Allostock CW4 8HJ

Silica Sand extraction and associated development, mineral processing and dispatch

Cranage Parish Council wish to OBJECT to this application

The Local Plan Strategy has been adopted in July 2017 and it must be acknowledged that the Minerals and Waste Development Plan is still under review so we must revert back to the Congleton Borough Plan from 1999 where this site is not an allocated or preferred site. The MWDPD is the third part of the Councils Local Plan and will contain any site allocations necessary to ensure that the requirements for meeting appropriate minerals and waste needs in the borough are met for the plan period to 2030.

There has been a call from Cheshire East for Mineral and Waste Sites and then an up to date Local Aggregate Assessment will be published in the coming months. The first draft of a Mineral and Waster Plan will not be under consultation until the end of next year. We must therefore refer back to the old plan where Rudheath Farm is an ‘Area of Search for Sand and Gravel’ not ‘ Area of Preferred Extension to Existing Silica Sand Quarry’ .

Highways

There is no clear defined plan on how the roads in Cranage including our surrounding neighbours will cope the high volume of extra traffic. We see no plans to manage or enhance the infrastructure of our roads, merely a promise from Sibleco to implement a highways maintenance strategy, overviewed by themselves and not by an independent.

With the ever increasing numbers of vehicles using our roads year by year, this plan will only increase the dangers already facing us. The proposed turnings onto the A50 via the New Platt Lane junction (already a hazardous junction), we foresee as a potential accident hot spot. With the constant back log of traffic during peak times or when the M6 closes it lanes, Holmes Chapel our nearest neighbour becomes so highly congested that any further strains will bring with it more and more problems. Our villages where not designed for constant use by large commercial vehicles.

Sibleco has promised to issue a protocol to all of its customers and hauliers to make it clear that the use of New Platt Lane will not become a waiting zone. We are unsure how they are going to police this, this is only one road, there are many surrounding roads and villages. Will these become a “waiting zone”?

Health Concerns

Silica – Respirable Crystalline Silica (RCS)

Silica is a natural substance found in most rocks, sand and clay and in products such as bricks and concrete. In the workplace these materials create dust when they are cut, sanded down etc. Some of this dust may be fine enough to reach deep inside the lung, this is known as respirable crystalline silica (RCS) and can
cause harm to health. Significant exposure to RCS can cause silicosis and lung cancer.

An estimate from the cancer burden study of the number of deaths from lung cancer associated with exposure to RCS shows there are around 600 deaths per year with 450 of these occurring from exposures in the construction sector.

Paragraphs above taken from www.hse.gov.uk

Loss of Agricultural Land

In a report on the NFU Website from the Development Economics headed
“Contributions of UK Agriculture” and dated 17th February, 2017 the following is

stated:

“Farming in the UK is a vitally important part of the overall economy as well as meeting the majority of our domestic food consumption needs. Overall, agriculture contributed around £24 billion of revenues and around £8.5 billion of Gross Value Added to the UK economy in 2015. Agriculture also provides around 475,000 jobs directly, as well as supporting a further 30,000 jobs through procurement activity benefiting other sectors of the UK economy (ranging from manufacturing, transport and construction through to professional and financial services).”

“Farming also plays an important role in managing the environment of over 70% of the UK’s land area”

“Farmers are responsible for managing both important landscape features and providing habitats for wildlife of local, national and international importance. The overall value of these habitat and species protection services is estimated to be worth around £672 million each year. Farmland also plays a positive environmental role by acting as a carbon sink. The overall value of this service is estimated to be worth around £514 million each year.”

A large part of the Parishes Agricultural Land is being proposed for extraction and will be lost forever.

Employment

The applicant states that they currently employ 130 people based in Cheshire, of which 90 live in Cheshire. The applicant does not state how many, or if any, the number of new jobs which would be created locally or regionally, if this plan was approved it would not give sustainable employment prospects.

Fracking

Sibelco is the world’s largest producer of hydraulic fracturing sands. Building on the extensive experience and resources of our energy division in North America, we’re investing heavily in developing new infrastructure to support the European shale gas industry. We’re currently producing UNIFRAC® Hydraulic Fracturing Sands in four countries (Belgium, France, Russia and UK), drawn from premium quality silica sand reserves of exceptional purity and structural integrity. (source: www.sibelco.eu).

The plan does not clearly say that there will be no sale to the “fracking industry” from the proposed Cranage site. Cranage could be subjected to anti-fracking protesters should this plan be approved.

Other Concerns

The applicant does not comment on how they would compensate householders who’s property prices could devalue should this plan be approved.

Conclusion

The Congleton borough plan from 1999 DOES NOT identify Rudheath Lodge Farm as a preferred site for silica sand extraction. Sibelco must demonstrate that the national need for silica sand is exceptional and there is no other alternative to Rudheath Lodge Farm

Kind Regards

Julie Mason

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