Gavin Williamson, MP for South Staffordshire, has sought answers from the Department for Communities and Local Government on what it is doing to enforce quarry restorations.
In a Parliamentary Question, Gavin asked the Department about what steps it is taking to ensure that the deadline for the completion of works at a quarry - and its subsequent restoration to nature – is being strictly adhered to, without the possibility of extension.
Gavin raised the question after a number of residents voiced concerns about the potential delay to the restoration of Seisdon Quarry, in South Staffordshire.
The original permission granted for the site - recently bought from Lafarge Tarmac by JPE Holdings Limited - dictated that the quarry must be returned to nature this year.
However, JPE Holdings Limited has applied to extend the license for the ‘winning and working of sand and gravel’ to 2016 and to extend the deadline for complete restoration of the site until 2018.
In response to Gavin’s query, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Planning, Nick Boles MP, said: “Mineral planning authorities should ensure the proper restoration and aftercare of a site through imposition of suitable planning conditions and, where necessary, through planning obligations.
“Where there is a breach of conditions or the terms of any planning obligations, mineral planning authorities have a wider range of discretionary enforcement powers available to them, but it is for each authority to decide in each case which is the most appropriate course of action, taking account of local circumstances.”