Minerals plant lifespan extension
The lifespan of a Gwynedd minerals plant could be extended by another 20 years if approved by council planners.
Welsh Slate is applying for permission to continue operating the facility which forms part of the Oakeley Quarry complex in Blaenau Ffestiniog.
The works, which currently employ nine members of staff, use slate extracted from two waste tips to produce powdered and granulated slate products for use in construction materials such as coated roofing felts.
The material, having been extracted from the tips, is crushed, dried and then milled with some also exported as a secondary aggregate.
But with current permission having expired on January 31, permission is now being sought to continue operating for another 20 years until January 2040.
The planning documents supporting Welsh Slate’s application, note: “On this basis, it is clear that neither the minerals plant, nor the working of the adjacent minerals deposits, would give rise to significant effects.
“The development is of local importance; it is located within the boundary of a quarry and so could not be considered sensitive or vulnerable; and the process is not unusually complex or potentially hazardous.”
The report went on to say, “It is clear that the proposals address these key principles; the continued use of the minerals plant allows the economy to grow through supporting the wider construction sector, supplying the raw
materials it needs.
“It also makes use not only of an established plant, but allows slate waste to be
beneficially used, husbanding reserves of high quality slate for other uses, such as roofing slates etc.
“Allied to this, the proposals do not have an adverse effect on the environment or amenity of local communities.”
It’s expected that Gwynedd Council planning officers will make a decision over the coming weeks.
By Gareth Williams – Local Democracy Reporter
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