Land north of North Park, Richings Park, Buckinghamshire
The site is located north of the North Park which connects Langley at the eastern end of Slough with Richings Park to the west. The site consists of some 37 hectares of relatively flat high quality agricultural land. It lies directly to the north of the main Bristol to Paddington railway. The M4 motorway lies approximately 1km to the south, whilst the M25 lies 1km to the east. Heathrow Airport is situated some 3.5km to the south east. To the south of North Park lies the Richings Park golf course and country club. A plan of the site can be seen here: 15- P1-739-3E - Site Plan.pdf 19- P1-739-8 Plant Site Layout.pdf
What does the proposal involve?
Extraction Operations - The proposed development involves the extraction of some 2 million tonnes of sand and gravel, the processing of the minerals on site including the production of concrete, and the restoration of the site back to existing levels to an agricultural land use by infilling the mineral void with inert waste material. This will take place over a temporary period of up to nine years.
Sand and gravel will be extracted from the site in 5 phases at a rate of some 400,000 tonnes per annum. See phasing plan here: P1-739-4A - Phase 1.pdf
The extraction of sand and gravel will take place progressively across the site with soil being stripped only from the areas immediately required for extraction. Stripped soils will be stored within 3- 5m high bunds. These soil bunds will also serve as noise, dust and visual screens. The mineral will be ‘worked wet’ meaning that there will be no dewatering. Mineral will be won with the use of a single excavator. Mineral will be moved by conveyors and by a wheel loading shovel.
Filling and Restoration Operations - Following extraction of each phase the land will be restored to existing levels using inert fill material involving 2.7 million tonnes. If permitted, filling would commence in Year 2 at an initial rate of approximately 200,000 tonnes per annum and would progress at this rate until extraction ceases in Phase 5. Filling would then increase to a rate of approximately 500,000tpa and would take a further 3-4 years.
The filling and restoration work will follow on directly behind the extraction of material from each phase. On completion of filling each phase the stored soils will be carefully replaced using appropriate soil handling and storage techniques to enable the site to be restored to an agricultural quality similar to the existing land. Restoration will be complete by year 9. Once restored, each phase will be managed through a 5 year aftercare programme.
Plant site location - The plant will be located in the south western part of the site to the west of the proposed access. The plant site will contain: a wheel wash and water sprays; weighbridge, site office, staff facilities/messroom, parking for staff and visitors, processing plant (up to 11.5m high), concrete plant (up to 16m high), HGV and ready mix lorry overnight parking, cctv/lighting, silt lagoons, aggregate storage bays and services.
Site Access - The site will be accessed from North Park using the existing field access along the southern boundary. The existing access will be widened and visibility improved.
HGV Numbers - The majority of the traffic generated by the development will be in the form of heavy goods vehicles (HGVs). It is anticipated that if the site is worked at 400,000 tonnes per annum the highest number of HGV movements would be during years 2-5 when extraction, infilling and concrete production are occurring simultaneously at 242 movements per day. There will be approximately 170 movements for year 1 for extraction and 182 movements for year 6-9 related to infilling.
HGV Movements - CEMEX would be willing to enter into a routeing agreement and it is proposed that all HGVs associated with the site would - turn out of the site to the west along North Park and then travel south along Sutton Lane to the A4. From there the traffic can travel east or west - west to the M4 or east along the A4 into London.
Hours of Operation - The proposed hours of operation are Monday to Friday 07:00-18:00 and Saturday 07:00-13:00. There would be no working on Sundays or Bank and National Holidays.
Site Restoration Masterplan – The site will be restored back to existing levels to high quality agricultural land, with an increase in biodiversity and public access built into the design. Footpath IVE/15/1 will be temporarily stopped up for the duration of the mineral operations for health and safety reasons, but it is proposed once restoration is complete to reinstate it back along its original alignment so that its northern end meets the railway line. An additional footpath network will be provided along the northern bank of the Horton Brook leading from its southern end from North Park road in a north westerly direction to Market Lane. The restoration scheme presents opportunities to enhance the landscape and biodiversity of the site. In summary, there will be over a 6.9 hectare increase in UK Biodiversity Habitats over the current site area. The site will be planted with native deciduous species found locally within this part of the County. A plan of the restoration masterplan can be seen here: 17- 5A - A1 Restoration LANGLEY JULY 2016.pdf
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Why is this applications being made now?
In 2015 Network Rail (NR) announced they were going to proceed with the new Western Rail Link to Heathrow (WRLtH) airport which is due to start on site in Spring 2019, subject to development consent order being granted. The mineral in the site at North Park will be sterilised by this scheme as the rail link goes into tunnel in the centre of this site. This is against national planning policy for mineral extraction which encourages safeguarded minerals to be worked and not sterilised by non mineral development.
CEMEX have therefore prepared and submitted this application to recover the minerals prior to the WRLtH scheme to ensure that the minerals are not sterilised. This application is being made now as a standalone proposal to work the minerals in the site and restore to agriculture with extraction expected to start in 2018, if planning permission is granted. However, the layout of the site and the phases have been designed in consultation with NR, to ensure that the sand and gravel lying in the path of the WRLtH scheme can be extracted prior to NR requiring access to this part of the site.
If the timing of the CEMEX and NR schemes permit and if both companies work together there can be synergies in the operations of both developments. The WRLtH scheme will require construction materials – aggregate and concrete to create the tunnel, which could be supplied by CEMEX from the site. In addition, NR will produce a large amount of tunnelling waste in a 2 year period. This tunnel material could be used to restore the quarry void back to level. These synergies would significantly reduce the number of HGV movements associated with both developments on local roads – minerals, concrete would not need transporting off site and fill would not need to be imported.
Who has CEMEX spoken to about this proposal?
Prior to the planning application CEMEX has consulted widely.
CEMEX consulted with Buckinghamshire County Council and other statutory organizations including highways, the Environment Agency and Natural England amongst others, to ensure that the application assessed the key potential adverse impacts on the environment and local residents.
CEMEX met with representatives and councillors of the local communities to discuss the application including South Bucks District Council, Iver Village and Richings Park Ward, Richings Park Residents Association, Slough Borough Council, Langley St Mary, Iver Parish Council.
CEMEX sent out a letter to 2289 residents in Richings Park and Langley about the proposal and the public exhibition.
CEMEX held a public exhibition in April 2016 at Richings Park Golf Club attended by 200 people.
Throughout the pre-submission process CEMEX has considered any comments and suggestions made and where possible amended the scheme to accommodate them. For example, CEMEX are now proposing a routeing agreement and to pay for changes to Sutton Lane/North Park junction.
The following documents make up the planning application that has been submitted to Buckinghamshire County Council. Volume 1 - Planning Statement with Plans and Application Forms.
Volume 2A and 2B - The Environmental Statement and Technical Appendices.
Volume 3 - Environmental Statement Non-Technical Statement.