21st September 2008
Following the successful planning application and the signing of the Unilateral Undertaking, Albion's mining team have begun constructing the entrance to Jordans Mine. This Mine will provide 10 years of Whitbed and Basebed but will also allow Portland's Red Triangle Cricket Club to continue to use the surface, unaffected by the extraction operation. This new mine will provide a boost to the production as the high level of demand continues, despite the concerns in the property industry and the wider economy.
Mark Godden, Albion Stone's Quarry and Mine Manager said:
"The geology of the Portland Stone varies slightly across the Island but the solid Cap Stone above the dimension stone that we seek to extract, provides the ideal roof to all the mines.
We have to be particularly sensitive in this location as the land outside the mine is a 'Site of Special Scientific Importance' and we have worked closely with Natural England. Through a new management agreement we have agreed to fund some clearance of the invasive cotoneaster shrub that will allow the rare butterfly food plants to flourish.
Many local residents have been interested in our project and supportive of this mining method of extraction. We are considering arranging an open day in the Spring for local people once we have some tunnels extracted."
The Planning Committee's 'Report of the Director for Environment'
"As members will appreciate there is a long history of quarrying Portland's nationally important limestone and the City of London would look significantly different without it. A large planning permission that
covers around a third of Tophill was granted after the Second World War, mainly for the purposes of post war reconstruction. The area of this proposed mine is within this old quarrying permission."
"The proposal to mine this area minimises the impact on the conservation area and on the listed buildings. The proposed access road is situated within an existing quarry and landscape and away from the sensitive properties so as not to affect the settings of the listed buildings or the conservation area. The Portal location is in the base of the existing quarry so it would not be visible other than by looking over the quarry edge."
"In conclusion I believe this proposal will allow a small but valuable source of stone to be won in a much more acceptable environmental manner than the existing quarrying consent would allow. The applicants
are to be congratulated for the initiative they have taken in pioneering this form of winning a naturally important stone and I recommend that the Committee continue its support for this approach."
Grant Neven, Club Secretary for Portland's Red Triangle Cricket Club says:
"Portland Red Triangle Cricket Club have throughout the planning of Jordans Mine, been fully consulted and informed of developments by Albion Stone. In fact Albion Stone have helped the club with sponsorship towards its new boundary fence and have continued to sponsor and retain close relations with the club. The club look forward to Albion Stone once again sponsoring the club in 2009."