Mill Hill near Barton in Fabis
Mill Hill near Barton in Fabis


Environmental considerations

Detailed environmental assessments have been carried out as part of our planning application. These independent assessments – and the proposals for mitigating any potential issues arising – have been conducted in line with the requirements of the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2017.

The assessments cover the lifetime of the proposed quarry from initial site preparation, through the operational phases, to final restoration of the site. Below is an outline of each of the main environmental considerations (listed alphabetically) and the proposed measures to address the potential impacts. Full details of the environmental assessments and mitigations are included in our planning application which can be viewed on the planning portal for Nottinghamshire County Council (Ref ES/4621) and Nottingham City Council (Ref 24/00242/PMFUL3).

Our detailed air quality assessment has been carried out in line with Air Quality Standards Regulations. This considers current air quality and any potential impacts from the proposal itself and resulting changes in traffic flow at a number of locations (‘receptors’) around the site, including Lark Hill Retirement Village.

As part of a comprehensive Dust Management Plan, a robust package of measures will be implemented to control dust at source in accordance with the ‘Basic Good Practice Mitigation Measures’, as presented in Section 7 of ‘Guidance on the Assessment of Mineral Dust Impacts for Planning (May 2016). These are detailed in sections 7 and 8 of the Air Quality Assessment which can be viewed here.

Because mitigation measures will be in place throughout all phases of activity, the operational activities are deemed to result in no significant impacts at any identified sensitive receptor locations. In addition the impact description of the effects of changes in traffic flow as a result of the proposed development is determined after thorough assessment to be ‘negligible’ at all existing receptors.

The site currently consists primarily of land used for agricultural purposes. The majority of the existing farmed land is assessed as ‘Grade 3b’ or lower, in other words land of only poor-to-moderate quality, capable of producing moderate yields of a limited number of crops. Only about 10% is considered to be of a higher grade.

Our intention is to recreate the better quality farmland within our restoration using the available quality top soils.  The poorer quality soils will be used across the site to improve biodiversity, in particular allowing less common species of flora to become established and flourish rather than becoming overrun by more common varieties.

We have undertaken a soils resources and agricultural land classification survey and the findings are included as part of our environmental statement. The assessment also includes an appropriate soil handling methodology based on best practice.

View the Agricultural Land Assessment here.

A detailed Tree Survey and assessment has been carried out in accordance with British Standard 5837:2012 and included as part of our environmental statement. The report presents the results of an assessment of the existing trees’ arboricultural value, based on their current condition and quality and will provide an assessment of impact arising from the proposed development of the site.

A total of twenty-one individual trees, twenty-four groups of trees, two woodlands and seven hedgerows were surveyed as part of the Arboricultural Assessment. The Assessment concludes that tree cover across the site was mainly considered to be of low arboricultural quality (Category C), making up 69% of the surveyed area.  The remaining tree stock was comprised of; five individual Category B specimens and seven groups; with high quality (Category A) trees and groups being the least prevalent across the site, with only four individuals and one woodland. The Trees ranged in age from young to veteran and were generally classed as being in fair condition across the site. The Assessment includes a number of mitigation measures to ensure the retained trees are adequately protected during the operation of the development.

Significant hedgerows and trees will be retained both around the periphery of the site and within the site, and although a small number of individual trees and hedges areas may be removed, this will be minimised as much as practicably possible. We also propose to undertake advanced planting of local hedgerow species adjacent to the plant site’s southern and eastern boundaries (alongside a proposed new permissive route).

Acknowledging the significance of Brandshill Wood, and following consultation with conservation organisations, we intend to take a number of measures to protect its integrity. This includes maintaining a buffer of approximately 100 metres between the northeast corner of the woodland and our proposed plant site to further reduce the chances of any impact on this area. Finally, our proposed restoration scheme includes a range of planting to complement existing areas and create new areas of habitat to enhance biodiversity.

View the Arboriculture Assessment here.

Quarrying is one of the few ways in which areas of land can be rapidly exposed to reveal possible archaeological and palaeontological discoveries. Over the years, quarries have uncovered some incredible finds from woolly mammoths and roman relics to lost military aircraft.

The Cultural Heritage Assessment submitted to support our planning application considers any direct and indirect effects upon cultural heritage. The land earmarked for quarrying around Mill Hill has been investigated for evidence of archaeology and the assessment concludes that the known archaeology within the site is of local-regional significance.  No waterlogged archaeology was found by the evaluation.

As part of our proposal, full excavation of known archaeological sites would be carried out and a tiered watching brief on the remainder of the site plus metal detection to retrieve any metallic artefacts. The results of any archaeological findings will be published and an interpretation panel that summarises what’s found during the archaeological excavations is proposed at a viewpoint for the site.

The more visible evidence of previous human intervention in the form of ‘Ridge and Furrow’ nearest to Barton in Fabis has been deliberately excluded from the planning application.

Outside the planning application area, the Cultural Heritage Assessment identified the following four heritage assets which required particular examination:

  • Attenborough Conservation Area
  • Scheduled Fishponds 90m south east of St Mary’s Church, Attenborough
  • Clifton Conservation Area
  • Clifton Registered Park

The assessment concludes that views towards the Attenborough Conservation Area and Scheduled Fishponds are highly screened by vegetation and during the summer there would be no views.  There would be no effect on the ability to appreciate the significance of these assets.  With regard to the effects upon Clifton Registered Park and the concurrent boundary of Clifton Conservation Area, the Assessment concludes that any slight adverse effect due to proximity would be offset by enhancement proposed to the historic landscape through the replanting of an avenue of trees leading south west from Clifton Hall towards the site, that was lost in the second half of the 20th century.

A consultation response from Historic England states that they do not object to the application on heritage grounds.

View the Archaeology Evaluation Report here.

Protecting wildlife and mitigating the chance of any potential impacts on surrounding areas is the highest priority in our proposal. Extensive year-round ecological field surveys have been carried out by a team of independent ecologists, with detailed information gathered about the current ecology within each habitat on the site and that of surrounding areas.

Habitats observed included arable farm land, grassland, scrub, woodland, hedgerows marshland, wet woodland and various other areas of vegetation. Particular studies were undertaken with respect of the following species – great crested newt; breeding birds; wintering birds; barn owl; bats; badger; water vole and otter; reptiles; invertebrates; toad; and harvest mouse.

This work carefully considered the extent of any potential impacts on specific types of habitat, a wide range of flora and fauna (and in particular any protected species) and what the effects could be on designated areas such as Attenborough Nature Reserve, Holme Pit SSSI, and Brandshill and Clifton Woods.

The suite of ecology surveys identified a range of important ecological features on site and within its ‘zone of influence’.  The assessment goes on to detail the mitigation and avoidance measures to be implemented to ensure the protection of retained habitats and any protected species identified in biodiversity action plans.

Besides ensuring no direct impact on surrounding wildlife sites, the assessment highlights how the proposed scheme will actively manage the land to support wildlife during operations.  The findings are summarised in the Ecological Assessment which can be viewed here.

Biodiversity Net Gain

The Ecology Assessment recognises that working this site for mineral is an opportunity to create a landscape that will enhance wildlife habitats and better connect with other areas of conservation in the surrounding area. As the site is progressively restored, our intention is to create a landscape specially designed to deliver substantial Biodiversity Net Gain.

Because our planning application was submitted before the introduction of the mandatory Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) rules, the development is exempt from statutory BNG requirements.  However, in line with Land Logical’s approach in relation to the environment, a voluntary BNG assessment has been undertaken and submitted with the planning application.

The assessment shows that the proposed scheme will deliver a net gain in habitat units of 34.81% and a net gain in hedgerow units of 23.86%, which is significantly more than that which would have been required by the legal requirement (10% net gain)  had it applied. This enhancement is offered as part of the suite of proposals which demonstrate that the application includes robust mitigation measures to offset potential impacts.

For further see our Biodiversity Net Gain Report.

NOTE: The quarrying industry is widely acknowledged as making one of the biggest contributions to the creation of new habitats and nature recovery, leading Biodiversity Net Gain. This is well-documented, most recently in the Mineral Products Association document Quarries & Nature: A 50 year success story which features numerous examples around the country including along the Trent Valley.

A landscape and visual assessment has been carried out in accordance with the Landscape Institute ( and the Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment ( guidelines which closely examined the local landscape character and how the terrain and the visual nature of the area might be affected by the proposed development.

Besides reviewing existing information about the application site – including any relevant landscape designations or planning policies, guidelines and published landscape character assessments – a detailed visual impact assessment has been undertaken, including the identification of existing and potential views from key visual ‘receptors’ around the site. These views include those from nearby designated sites and properties, residential dwellings and the wider surrounds.

During the operational stage of the proposed development it is assessed that no visual receptors will receive a significant adverse effect.  Following restoration of the site, most receptors are assessed as receiving a neutral change compared to the existing situation. The assessment identifies moderate benefits for users of the public rights of way next to the site from the creation of wetland habitats, shallows and pools within the existing visual setting.

The overall conclusion is that the proposed development will not adversely impact on the character and distinctiveness of the landscape.  The restoration scheme has been designed to integrate with the local landscape character whilst also delivering objectives for habitat creation, biodiversity, land-use and historic environment.

The restoration scheme will also provide new and enhanced ‘green infrastructure’ for community wellbeing and will provide a diversity of accessible visual landscape types and experiences, leisure opportunities for local residents.

View the Landscape & Visual Assessment here.

A series of photographic montages around the site can be viewed here.

For the assessment in relation to noise, the proposed development has been modelled based on historic auditory data for sand and gravel extraction, and assessed in alignment with recognised standards and guidance.

The noise study identifies ‘sensitive receptors’ in the vicinity of the site – notably the village of Barton in Fabis and Lark Hill Retirement Village – and examines the potential impact of noise on these receptors. Most importantly, the assessment considers how noise will be mitigated to avoid significant adverse impact. Any noise that could affect ecological receptors has also been considered as part of the ecology assessment.

As a result, the calculated noise levels at residential and other noise sensitive receptors due to normal daytime and night-time operations, and also temporary operations, indicate a good standard of amenity or better, and a moderate/minor impact which the assessment shows to be not significant.

View the Noise Assessment here.

A comprehensive transport study has been undertaken and the detailed transportation statement is included within our planning application. This reviews the proposed access to the quarry site and also considers any potential impact on the local highway network.

The transport statement has also considered the possibility for alternative transport options, including the potential for transporting aggregate via the River Trent.  The statement concludes that this option is not feasible due to the existing weirs along its length, which prevent the use of barges.  Similarly, consideration was given to rail transport. However, due to the location of the nearest commercial rail sidings, together with the environmental and financial constraints of extending either a rail or river connection, it would be necessary to load materials into HGVs and for them to travel along the same road network as is likely to be used to directly access the anticipated market areas.

A consultation response received from the Canal and River Trust planning team sets out their agreement that this stretch of the River Trent is not a designated commercial waterway and therefore the use of the river for transport of mineral does not represent a realistic alternative to road transport in this instance.

Therefore, the site would be served by an existing, albeit improved, direct access to Green Street. The proposed access is designed to direct outbound traffic to the left on leaving the site and prevent HGV traffic from travelling towards Barton in Fabis and instead direct it towards the main strategic road network as the preferred routes for lorries delivering to the surrounding area.

In terms of numbers of lorries, based on the proposed volumes, the average daily HGV flow associated with the on-site activities would be 51 loads (or 102 total movements) which equates to 5 loads (or 10 movements per hour) on average which falls well within the range of normal hourly variations of what are relatively low traffic flows. The transport statement concludes that the proposed development represents sustainable development in terms of transport matters. It would be served by a safe means of access and would not result in a severe residual cumulative impact.

A consultation response has also been received from National Highways in which they state they have no objection to the proposed development.

View the Transportation Assessment here.

NOTE: From the outset, the highest standards of safety for all road users would be maintained by our drivers. Our in-house fleet meets the stringent requirements of FORS Silver (Freight Operators’ Recognition Scheme) and as a member of the Mineral Products Association we ensure our drivers abide by the MPA Drivers’ Code of Conduct. All our vehicles comply with the latest European ‘Euro VI’ emissions standards (the only ones approved for use in Ultra Low Emission Zones).

Within our hydrological and hydrogeological Impact Assessment we have looked closely at whether any aspect of the proposed development could affect surface water (hydrology) or ground water (hydrogeology), or the broader water environment.

The assessment concludes that there is no hydrogeologically or hydrologically-based reason that the proposed development cannot proceed, subject to adoption and implementation of the recommended mitigation measures and planning controls.

View the Hydrology Assessment here.

As the proposed extraction area is located on the eastern bank of the River Trent within the flood plain and within Flood Zone 3, the assessment is also supported by a site specific flood risk assessment which demonstrates:

  • With respect to fluvial flooding, the various elements of the proposal are classified as “Appropriate Activities” in the technical guidance to the NPPF. This conclusion remains when accounting for the assumed effects of climate change;
  • There is negligible potential for significant flooding of the proposed site from rainfall runoff from adjacent land;
  • The quarry involves dewatering operations to ensure safe and efficient recovery of sand and gravel i.e. it is a ‘water-compatible development’ so the chances of flooding from groundwater is deemed acceptable;
  • The Proposed Development will not increase flood risk elsewhere, and there will be no loss of floodplain storage.

Hydraulic modelling has also been undertaken to support the planning application with the aim of ensuring that the proposed development will not cause any significant third party flood Impacts.

The flood assessment concludes that there are considered to be no over-riding flooding related reasons why the planned works should not proceed in the manner described within the planning application.

A consultation response has been received from Nottingham County Council’s Lead Local Flood Authority which states that based upon the submitted information, they have no objection to the proposed development.

View the Flood Risk Assessment here.