Buttington Quarry - ERF
From Border Hardcore & Rockery Stone Co. Ltd.
As owners of the wider Buttington Quarry site, we write in reference to the application for an Energy Recovery Facility (ERF) by the developer Broad Energy Wales.
We believe that this project offers many benefits to the wider site and the local area. The site’s historical industrial use must also be considered and we would like to make the Planning Inspectorate aware of the following points:
1. The ERF offers a ‘first class’ restoration of the main quarry void which best utilises the quarry’s excellent screening capabilities.
2. In the ten years or so that we have been redeveloping the former Buttington brickworks site, we have attracted new commercial tenants that combined have 60-70 employees, this area being adjacent to the application site. The ERF facility will act as an anchor tenant employing approximately 30 people. The remaining allocated employment land alongside the ERF site has the potential to create dozens more jobs across the wider Buttington site as it continues to grow. The proposed ERF will allow us to continue to develop this brownfield site into an Industrial Park that could sustain 200 employees in the future. The construction phase of the ERF and these subsequent neighbouring units would also boost the local economy, especially at a time when the country will be recovering from the global pandemic.
3. The potential to utilise the waste heat from the ERF will be an incentive to draw manufacturing companies to the Buttington site bringing new skilled employment opportunities into the area. Manufacturing being a sector which this part of Mid Wales is well known for.
4. The site has been through a lengthy vetting process in order to determine its suitability as allocated employment land for the Local Authority’s Local Development Plan. Direct trunk road access, position on the trunk road network and use of a brownfield site are key site attributes. Being located along the corridor of development (along the A458 trunk road) that has expanded from Welshpool, the Buttington employment site can be viewed to be an extension to the industrial/employment areas of Welshpool whose expansion has long been prevented by the River Severn flood plain. The on-site access to the electricity grid means that no pylons and overhead wires are required.
5. Operation of the ERF will require the installation of the new vehicular access (and stopping up of the existing) which will take all of the existing site traffic away from the half a dozen or so properties surrounding the current access location. The new access location having no dwellings in close proximity. The proposed new access will have a ‘ghost island’ ensuring better traffic flows on the A458 trunk road particularly during peak periods. Planning permission for this new and improved site access has been in place for some time as part of the development of the wider site.
6. Buttington Quarry and the adjacent industrial area has precedent for HGV movements in excess of those proposed by the ERF. Tonnage of brick manufacturing shales from the Quarry (circa 90k tonnes p/a) combined with the established decorative stone operation (circa 40k tonnes p/a - doubled to reflect material delivered in and out) from the mid 1990s through to 2008 meant HGV movements were considerable and certainly in excess of those proposed by the ERF. This was all using the site's existing access and during this time no complaints were received regarding HGV movements. In addition, the speed limit on the A458 at the site access has since been reduced to 50MPH.
7. The site has a long history of heavy industrial use. At least two high chimney stacks were built and used during the site’s long use as a Brickworks and formed part of the industrial landscape that has existed on the site since the early 1900s. The stacks were a known local landmark, the last of which was only demolished recently. The plume emitted from these chimneys would certainly not have been treated, monitored or filtered to the high degree and scrutiny of the proposed ERF. The brickworks was connected to the neighbouring Shrewsbury – Aberystwyth railway line via a dedicated siding and loading area which crossed the A458 providing a direct main line rail link into the site.
8. We consider the mottled, natural hues proposed for the building’s cladding, to be an innovative and highly effective part of the design, limiting the visual impact of the facility. The careful placement of the ERF within the quarry void means very little of the buildings will be visible.
9. Overall as landowners we consider this facility to best utilise the unique combination of attributes that the site offers.
We have tried to present the above in a factual manner and trust this will assist in determining this application.
Border Hardcore & Rockery Stone Co Ltd.