Armstrongs Aggregates Ltd apply for retrospective planning permission

QUARRY bosses in Horwich are due to find out today whether their application for approval of offices and a HGV parking area built without planning permission will get the greenlight. Armstrongs Aggregates Ltd built the structures along with a HGV parking area, a petrol pump and walls on land to the west of Makinson Lane, Horwich between Montcliffe and Pilkington quarries. Eleven letters of objection were received, raising concerns including ‘the buildings can be seen from miles as they are in an elevated position’, ‘ ‘it has the appearance of an industrial estate and in time will become a full-scale industrial estate’ and ‘the green belt should be preserved’.

A report to Bolton Council‘s planning committee, states: ” It is a retrospective application, seeking permission for an extension to the existing HGV maintenance sheds, an attached stone-built office building, hardstanding to the front of the buildings, an HGV parking area and an access track between the parking area and Montcliffe Quarry. “The applicant seeks to establish the site as a logistical hub for their Montcliffe and Pilkington quarries operations.” As the structures were built on green belt land the councillors will be asked to consider ‘very special circumstances’ put forward by applicant who argue that the benefits clearly outweigh the ‘limited harm’ the proposed development has on the openness of the green belt.

The report added: “The office building and the extension to the maintenance sheds would have ordinarily been permitted development had the applicant sought prior approval.” Once quarry operations at Montcliffe and Pilkington quarries have ceased, there will not be a need for the proposed development and all parts of the development will be removed from the site. The proposal seeks to move the quarry operator’s HGV parking and servicing from their former site at Horwich Loco Works.

The report, said: “This will have highway benefits owing to HGVs not having to travel through Horwich to reach the quarries.” Eleven letters of objection were received, raising concerns including ‘the buildings can be seen from miles as they are in an elevated position’, ‘ ‘it has the appearance of an industrial estate and in time will become a full-scale industrial estate’ and ‘the green belt should be preserved’. Cllr Richard Silvester has objected to the proposal because of the size, scale and design of the buildings are contrary to policy saying it would represent inappropriate development in the green belt.

He added that if approved Armstrongs should be made to contribute to the upkeep and resurfacing of Georges Lane and Chorley Old Road.

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