1st May 2014
Albion Stone have secured a further two new planning permissions for their mines on Portland, giving us three separate mining sites as the replacement of the more environmentally intrusive quarrying by mining gathers pace.
The first permission allows for an extension to Jordans Mine from the current location under the local cricket pitch moving under the nearby road to extract from underneath the school playground and tennis courts. Extraction from the extension will start immediately, providing vast new reserves of Albion Stone’s Jordans Basebed, Whitbeds and Roach stones.
The second secured planning permission has allowed for Albion Stone to extract from the last remaining area of the historical Bowers Quarry site. As part of Albion Stone’s commitment to sustainable growth and being environmentally responsible, Albion Stone made the decision to surrender the quarrying permission on the remaining virgin land and apply for mining permission at Bowers. As part of the permission we have agreed with Natural England and Dorset Wildlife Trust to establish a calcareous grassland environment across the historic quarry site that will become a Special Site of Scientific Interest (SSSI). We have also made an £18,000 donation to the Portland in Peril project that aims to eradicate non-native plants that are smothering Portland’s unique and beautiful limestone grasslands.
Having received the Bowers permission, along with Jordans permissions for mining under the local school playing fields, Albion Stone hope to start extraction operations from these reserves later in the year. This will allow for approximately another 30 years of Bowers Basebed, Whitbeds and Roach stones to be supplied to the masonry industries.
Michael Poultney, Managing Director of Albion Stone comments,
‘We are gearing up for a new phase at the business, one which involves extraction from only the mining operations. We have spent 10 years and over £1.8 million to get to this point and it marks a fundamental shift in the extraction for Portland Stone. We have taken on new employees that we are training to be able to work in the technically demanding mining operations using some of the most advanced dimension stone machinery.
The restoration of the quarries presents some real opportunities and we will be careful to work with the Crown Estate our landlords, to deliver and balance between nature conservation and economic opportunities. This is an exciting time for the business, the culmination of plans set out nearly 20 years ago.‘