Planning minister dismisses quarry appeal on ancient woodland grounds

The minister for housing and local government in Wales, Julie James, has refused a planning appeal for a sandstone quarry near Pontypool in Torfaen, due to the unacceptable loss of three hectares of ancient woodland.

James dismissed the appeal late last month, in line with the advice received by planning inspector Clive Nield.

Quarry developer Peakman Ltd wanted to extract sandstone over two decades from an area known as the Tirpentwys Canyons in south Wales – a former opencast mine until 1962. 

This would have included the widening of an access road through woodland for up to 100 heavy goods vehicles to remove roughly 1,000 tonnes of sandstone every day. 

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