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Last working stone quarry on Dartmoor given extension

Sunday, 3 March 2024 07:54

By Alison Stephenson, local democracy reporter

Yennadon Quarry near Dousland (image courtesy: Google Maps)

26 jobs will be protected to 2042

The last working stone quarry on Dartmoor is to continue operating for another 15 years.

The extension will protect 26 jobs at Yennadon Quarry ear Yelverton, allowing highly sought-after material to be extracted before the land is fully restored.

The quarry in the Burrator parish was granted permission to extend its working area by a third temporarily in 2022, seven years after the quarry first submitted planning permission. This was due to expire in 2026.

Dartmoor National Park Authority was told that the delays had meant that not all phases of the extraction and only part of the restoration work would be complete by 2026

Members agreed that the period should be extended to 3 May 2042, with a number of amended planning conditions.

Burrator Parish Council supported he application, subject to the quarry restoration taking place.

Planning officers said Yennadon Quarry predominantly produces high-quality building stone and stone used in walling and landscaping. Many local buildings  are constructed with it and it plays an important role in maintaining the character and appearance of the area.

The quarry is limited to extracting no more than 7,500 tonnes a year and lorry trips are not allowed to exceed 60 movements a week.

Officers said some loss of habitat is an inevitable consequence of the proposed extension but there would be long term benefits, including gaining an area of replacement common land.

Planners agreed that the development was in the public interest with exceptional circumstances to justify it.

The agent for Yennadon Stone, Andrea Robertson, said the 3.3 hectare area would be backfilled and landscaped to reduce its visual impact and the restoration relied on all the spoil from the northern quarry area being used. There was also a biodiversity strategy. None of that could be achieved without an extension of time.

Conservation charity The Dartmoor Society supported the application for more quarrying time, saying Yennadon was the last active stone quarry working on moorland Dartmoor, out of scores that once existed.

They called it a”cultural icon” and “a living heritage link” to the previous generations of quarrymen who had shaped what was “one of the finest cultural landscapes in the world”.

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