Latest News 2022
Quarry Planning Permissions
Planning permissions have been granted for two quarries in March which the practice has managed and designed the minerals working, acted as agent for the planning applications and project managed the consultants.
Our engineers will now assist the quarry managers and owners to bring these additional reserves into production to provide materials for the construction industry and housing sector.
A refusal of a planning permission to recycle construction materials at a quarry using the same equipment that processes the sandstone so that a wider range of products can be made has been received. The reasons being increase in traffic and no clear benefit to the restoration of the quarry with inert waste. We are currently reviewing the decisions as clearly there is benefit in recycling construction waste to separate the hard waste, such as concrete and brick from the soil, so that the soil can be used in restoration and the crushed washed concrete and brick used for construction.
Coal Mining Risk Assessments
Our mining engineers continue to advise clients on coal mining legacy issues before redeveloping sites for housing, sport, or commercial development. We are currently investigating a site for shafts and shallow mine workings. It is not only coal mine workings but other minerals such as sand, fireclay, lead and ironstone that were mined in the north of England and we have been advising on investigating and remediating sites that have been affected by underground mining of these minerals.
Our engineers and surveyor continue to advise on brownfield land and preparing phase 1 desk top reports, designing site investigations and supervising the drilling and collection of soil samples for analysis. Completion of the remediation of phase 1 of a development for housing has provided the platform for houses to be built whilst the next 2 phases are engineered for the piling mats to be laid out.
It is 20 years since the introduction of Geotechnical Appraisals and Assessments under the Quarries Regulations 1999 and our engineers have now completed 11 assessments on the quarries where we are appointed as the geotechnical specialist. We have been able to advise on design of the phasing of working and an increase in reserves, if there is a coordinated infill programme after extraction, so any significant hazards are managed and dealt with. Our principal is available to advise on geotechnical matters at quarries and mines at any time and can be contacted by email or telephone.
We have been assisting several small and medium sized building companies over the past 2 years on planning matters relating to housing, such as site investigation for foundations, mining legacy issues, percolation and soakaway tests, water storage and validating remediation projects to completion. Good record keeping and regular visits to the site are imperative if the planning conditions to discharge the contaminated land matters are to be successful. The above work can be rolled up into one package from the start of a project once it has received planning permission. Speak to our principal engineer about the complete package of service to housebuilders.
With the current situation on Ukraine affecting Europe as a whole, it has highlighted the reliance on other countries natural resources to supply our own needs. Case in point, the anthracite mine in South Wales which people want to see closed when it is the only one on the European continent and supplies anthracite and metallurgical coal to industry including the nearby Port Talbot steelworks. We are importing gas from the Middle East and there are still reserves of gas and oil under the sea around the coast of the UK. There is a debate and review by Government of shale gas extraction at present and if there are the reserves of gas then at least one well should be allowed to ramp up to production levels to see if there will be the flow of gas predicted. If so then the limits on earth tremors can be raised through research and design by members of geological society, engineering institutions and the British Geological Survey. Coal, gas and oil will be required for the transition period to net zero so the jobs may as well be created here and taxes paid on wages to the UK Treasury instead of exporting jobs and money to purchase them elsewhere. Besides, the UK is at the forefront on regulation and emission standards for coal, oil and gas use and there will be innovation to reduce carbon emissions if there is the confidence that it will be used as a managed transition. At present, fossil fuels have to be used to make steel and other metals, manufacture cement, fire bricks and lubricate the machinery that we rely on every day.