Sunday 8 December 2019

Quarry plan gets council green light

Hubert Murphy

Kilsaran Concrete Unlimited Company has been granted permission by Louth CC to fill in the old quarry on the Dundalk Road in Dunleer.

The plan for the 16.7 hectare site was the subject of much debate, with fears that it will impact on the immediate area in terms of heavy traffic and dust levels.

The quarry, which was the subject of heavy blasting in past decades, operated for 50 years and was closed in 2006. Locals say there has been 'peace and quiet' since then.

The application received a number of submissions from the public and one report suggested the presence of nesting peregrine Falcons on the site. This was investigated, but no evidence of the birds was found. Measures have been put in place to mitigate issues if the birds do appear.

One of the main issues was the possibility of 57 HGV trips per day over 10 years on a road, claimed in one submission to be 'totally unsuitable'.

They added, 'Many local vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians use this road. A very long section of the road does not have a pavement. This in itself would present a very high level of danger.'

They also had fears over 'noise and dust levels' and over a long period of time 'will have a negative effect on people's health and well being.'

It was noted that an environmental management programme to monitor emissions is part of the proposal, suggesting it is envisaged that noise, dust, etc, will be an issue.

Other concerns included the devaluation of properties locally.

Cllr Hugh D Conlon expressed his concerns about the 114 trips per day by heavy lorries and 'huge safety' worries in respect of the alignment of the R132 at Coneyboro and the 'notorious' Cappogue bends.

He quoted a public meeting in July when locals told of the dust levels in the past when the quarry was in use. They asked that an independent inspector be employed by the EPA to supervise the daily loads.

In granting the application, the council say that 'no emissions' or malodours, fumes, gases, dust or other, that could impact on local residents will be permitted

The hours of operation will be 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday and 8am to 1pm on Saturday. No work allowed on Sunday or public holidays.

HGVs are also excluded from using the main street in Dunleer and the company must produce a construction management plan, indicating proposed HGV routes, in and out of the site, before works can start.

It is planned to backfill the quarry to surrounding ground level and to restore the siteto long-term beneficial agricultural use by the importation of c.3.6 million tonnes of natural inert waste and/or dry non-waste materials suitable for restoration purposes, principally excess soil, stone and/or broken rock.

The company also has to pay €400,800 as part of a contribution scheme to Louth CC for infrastructure.

Drogheda Independent