A SCHEME to extract waste from a disused quarry, believed to have once provided slates for the Houses of Parliament, has been backed by Pembrokeshire planners.
Alan James Ai Feibion CYF sought permission to remove slate waste from Gilfach Quarry, Llangolman on the Pembrokeshire/Carmarthenshire border; the waste being used as a secondary aggregate in a variety of projects – such as agricultural farm tracks.
The application was recommended for conditional approval at the January 9 meeting of Pembrokeshire County Council’s planning committee, with members hearing no blasting or crushing would be needed to remove the waste material.
The slate quarried in the area is said to be of Ordovician volcanic ash origin, with claims – repeated at the meeting – that slate from Gilfach was used on the roof of the Houses of Parliament when rebuilt in the 1830s.
The proposed extraction site, an old slate tip, itself forms a small part of the overall disused site; it is anticipated that the site would yield some 110,642 tonnes, with a maximum tonnage of 10,000 expected to be extracted a year.
A report for planners said: “The applicant owns a civil engineering business and carries out various works on agricultural holdings where this material could be utilised in the use of tracks and/or subbase for buildings.
“The applicant also intends to supply stone to local stone masons, in additional to local farmers who have contacted the applicant since they have bought the site.”
In a planning complication, the access for the site is within the Pembrokeshire, but the public highways are under Carmarthenshire jurisdiction.
Neither authority has raised objections on highways grounds but requests for surfacing access warning signage were made.
Moving approval, Councillor Mark Carter said: “I think it’s a perfectly sensible proposal.”
He was seconded by Councillor Iwan Ward, who said: “I just want to give my support to this, a great way of recycling waste material in Pembrokeshire, but the biggest thing is the secured employment for north Pembrokeshire.”
The application – with a long string of conditions – was unanimously approved.