4:27pm Wednesday 3rd April 2013
By Lizzie Anderson
A QUARRY operator hoping to increase its activities in County Durham says the proposed extension will help secure 30 jobs and could potentially create new employment opportunities.
Thompsons of Prudhoe has submitted plans to extend Bishop Middleham Quarry at Bishop Middleham, near Sedgefield, to allow it to extract a further 5.5m tonnes of magnesian limestone over the next 14 years.
The extension would help secure the jobs of 30 people, the majority of whom live in the Sedgefield area, and could also lead to more staff being taken on in the future.
If plans are approved, Thompsons, which has operated the quarry since the 1970s, will extend operations to the west of the site towards the A1 motorway.
The proposals do not involve the construction of a new access route or processing area, as Thompsons plan to use the existing vehicular access.
And, when extraction is complete, the land will then be restored back to agricultural use for a further 20 years.
Katie Wood, of Thompsons’ planning agent P & K Wood Planning, said: “This limits the overall impact on local residents in the area and particular the residents of Bishop Middleham village.
“There will be no increase in traffic movements as a result of this extension.
“Thompsons have operated this quarry for approximately 45 years and have supported the local community over that time.
“The company would hope to maintain its strong links with the local community both through employment and support to local communities in the area.
“The quarrying operations have to date contributed to parish council funds and contributed to projects in the area.”
The magnesian limestone extracted at Bishop Middleham is used to create aggregate, which is used for various construction projects across the North-East, and agricultural lime, which reduces soil acidity and is sold to the farmers as far afield as Scotland.
For more information on the scheme contact Ms Wood on 01661-825008 or Ryan Malloy on 01661-832422.
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