Consultation - Weeford Quarry
Client: Cemex UK Ltd
In a formal consultation response to a Planning Application made as part of the Review of Mineral Permission of Cemex UK Materials Ltd’s Weeford Quarry, Staffordshire County Council requested further surveys be undertaken in 2010 to assess the status of invertebrates, great crested newts, bats and wintering birds. A key factor in this request was the submission of a prior bat survey, performed by another consultancy which, despite having recorded only low levels of bat activity within the site, had made recommendations for further surveys.
Following an appraisal, AEcol argued that the need for invertebrate and bird survey was not justified by the habitats present, and that bat survey should be focussed upon correcting methodological weaknesses in the previous bat survey. AEcol successfully negotiated a reduction in the level of survey necessary to that of great crested newt survey, and an appraisal of built structures and trees for their potential to hold roosting bats. Reasoned argument was presented showing that invertebrate survey and wintering bird survey would be uninformative and deliver no useful outcome. However, practical measures were agreed to ensure that these species groups and breeding birds would be safeguarded during working and restoration.
Great crested newt survey of 21 operational silt-lagoons and a bat-roost appraisal were completed in spring 2010 and a report produced in satisfaction of planning conditions.