Support for Sheephouse quarry works that could boost biodiversity

Adrian Williams

Adrian Williams

Residents have voiced their support for an application to extend a mineral quarry in Summerleaze Road – and restore lakes, woodland, scrub, grassland and reedbeds on-site.

Sheephouse Farm Quarry is a 140-hectare sand and gravel quarry.

A planning application by Summerleaze Ltd seeks permission to extract circa 50,000 tonnes of sand and gravel from land to the south‐west of Maidenhead Court Park.

The application site is located within the greenbelt and the restored quarry lake nearby is designated as a Wildlife Heritage Site.

One resident wrote: “The proposed extraction and lake will hugely benefit the surrounding area. As someone that enjoys the local wildlife this is a very positive proposal.”

Lake margins will be restored to a range of semi‐natural habitats and additional biodiversity features will be created, including bat roosting boxes, habitat refugia piles, new trees and lake marginal planting.

Part of the existing tree belt will be removed but replacement planting will make up part of the restoration.

The entire development is expected to take less than six months.

“An extension to an existing quarry results in fewer impacts than the creation of a new quarry,” said the applicant’s representatives.

“The mineral will be processed at Bray processing plant, thereby negating the need to install new plant at this site.”

The site will be restored using on site soils – there will be no importation of material and no direct HGV movements to and from the extension area itself.

The site is designated as an ‘area liable of flooding’. To address this risk, the proposed development will create a void which is to be restored to a lake.

This will ‘create some advantages to flood storage capacity,’ says the developer – and residents hope this will decrease flood risk overall.

To see site plans and other information on this application, search the council’s planning portal with reference 21/01771.

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