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Planning Process

Post-war restoration
The approach to restoration has evolved over recent decades from the early years to a position where restoration is now a key priority. It was not always the case however, and in the immediate period after the Second World War little or no time or resources were devoted to restoration, in favour of other priorities. Gradually and following on from a few enlightened schemes, restoration came to be seen as a priority and areas that were once simply abandoned came to be viewed as areas where restoration should be achieved, often favouring agricultural land uses as part of the drive to increase agricultural production.

Landfill
The volume of waste and its compositional nature changed dramatically after the Second World War, with the advent of the consumer society. There has therefore, been a long association between the quarrying industry and the waste disposal industry because of the void-spaces created by extraction which have for many years proven an appropriate location to dispose of the waste generated by society. This developed into those sites dealing with inactive wastes, like construction and demolition wastes, soils and clays, through to household wastes and in some cases other wastes arising from special industries.

Although the techniques used for landfill have evolved over time, away from older-style uncontained landfills, to modern contained cells that are lined with clay and man made liners, the principle of landfilling in mineral voids still continues. It was usual for the restored landform of such landfills to be domed to minimise water infiltration and there would be most likely an agricultural after-use.

Quarry being restored for landfill

Quarry being restored for landfill.

  Abandoned quarries can be a haven for wildlife, but may also attract fly tipping.

Abandoned quarries can be a haven for wildlife, but may also attract fly tipping.

     
Many quarrying companies have now developed expertise in the restoration and management of land for a range of alternative restoration uses such as recreation and nature conservation that do not involve the importation of waste material.
 
In recent years because of a tightening of environmental controls over waste management activity, that industry has become more specialised and has moved apart from the quarrying sector.

This has especially been the case with the increasing emphasis on sustainable waste management, reducing the volume of waste produced and increasing recovery and recycling to reduce reliance on disposal through landfill.

Inert construction wastes still form an important part of the restoration capability of the aggregates sector, even though it is now subject to much stricter control by the Environment Agency but is combined with other techniques to achieve the range of restoration options available. Many quarrying companies have now developed expertise in the restoration and management of land for a range of alternative restoration uses such as recreation and nature conservation that do not involve the importation of waste material. The industries activities can now result in the creation of a range of new habitats, and the planting of thousands of new trees in woodlands and new hedgerows.

. . . more