Park Balk Quarry Restoration

Plasmor Logo

Invitation to a Public Exhibition of proposals for the reopening and restoration of Park Balk Quarry and the construction of a new block making plant at our Knottingley Works

You are invited to a Public Exhibition of proposals for the reopening and restoration of Park Balk Quarry to the north of Womersley Road, and for the construction of a new block making plant at our Knottingley works. These proposals are essential to the Company’s future in Knottingley and are important to the local community.

The exhibition will be held on the 17th November, between 2.30pm and 8.30pm at our works off Womersely Road as shown below. Managers from the Company and other members of the Project Team will be there to explain what is being proposed and to hear the views of the local community.

Plasmor Map

Click here to view Plasmor Exhibition Flyer at Park Balk.

About Plasmor

Plasmor is a Yorkshire based company founded by the Slater family in 1959. It manufactures a wide range of concrete construction products at a number of facilities across the UK (Wakefield, North Yorkshire, County Durham, Cheshire and Nottinghamshire). Womersley Road, Knottingley, is its main facility, producing paving blocks and dense limestone aggregate concrete blocks (ranging from hi-spec architectural quality products to general building blocks). It is also the Company’s headquarters housing its administration, finance, marketing, engineering, R&D, and transport departments. The Knottingley facility currently employs about 150 staff directly and supports many more businesses in the local community.

Plasmor is a market leader in its field and is extremely environmentally aware, for example it incorporates recycled aggregate and expanded clay “aggregate” in its products and distributes a significant amount of its products nationally by rail from its Great Heck facility.

The operation of the Company’s Great Heck expanded clay plant and rail terminal are inextricably linked to the Knottingley facility.

The Company invests continuously in its plant and equipment and has invested over £40m nationally over the past 10 years. Significant parts of the current Knottingley plant are approaching 40 years old and despite intensive maintenance are rapidly approaching the end of their life. Consequently, the Company is looking at a significant investment (up to £10m) in new replacement block making plant and equipment. The plant will allow for increased production, reduced energy costs, a reduction in cement usage and a reduction in reject products. All of the above have clear environmental benefits, particularly in terms of C02 reduction. Importantly the investment would not result in a “replacement of labour with technology”, indeed the investment is crucial to the long term survival of the whole Womersley Road complex. Simply put, the proposed investment is critical to support and protect jobs at the Knottingley facility.

Underpinning the investment decision is security of supply of its principal feedstock -limestone. The Company currently has a quarry adjoining its Knottingley facility but the limestone is of poor quality and reserves are almost depleted. Reserves in local quarries are similarly limited (for example, Darrington Quarry circa 10 years, Wentvalley Quarry, circa 5 years) and availability of stone is restricted due to excessive local demand. Further the specification required (4 -10mm) tends to be a by-product and it is not produced in significant quantities. As a consequence the Company is currently importing substantial tonnages of material from as far away as Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire

This uncertainty of supply together with the increased cost of transport etc. are a significant barrier to the proposed investment. Clearly no company would make itself a hostage to fortune re supply of a feedstock which was outwith its control when considering such a multi-million pound commitment.

Park Balk Quarry extends to circa 7.3ha and was the subject of an Interim Development Order (IDO) (No. 1300) issued by Osgoldcross RDC on the 9 June 1948. This IDO was registered with both WMDC and NYCC and accepted as valid by both Authorities in 1992. In accordance with legislation, a schedule of conditions was submitted in 1992, although these conditions were never determined by either Authority and they were in effect approved “by default”. Following administrative boundary changes in the 1990s, the quarry now lies wholly within the administrative boundary of Wakefield Metropolitan District Council. The Planning Permission for the quarry expired in 2012.

The present owners (KMR Waste Management Ltd.) acquired the quarry from Darrington Quarries Ltd. in December 2001 with a view to restoring the area by inert landfill. Legislation changed, however, and this route is no longer acceptable due to concerns re impacts on the underlying groundwater. The site remains unrestored and is the subject of continuing problems such as unauthorised access, fly tipping, burnt out vehicles and so on. Alternative approaches to restoration have been explored with the Authority but these did not find favour and have not been progressed. The site is currently designated as being:

  • a Mineral Safeguarding Area;
  • an adopted Local Wildlife Site (LWS40 Park Balk Quarry).

As part of its investment strategy, the Company had been considering alternative sources of material for the new block making plant. It had examined the policies contained in the Local Development Framework (LDF) and had noted that Park Balk and the adjoining area were designated for mineral development. At the same time KMR were considering ways of restoring the quarry. The bringing together of the two elements, the restoration of Park Balk Quarry and securing limestone to underpin the Company’s investment plans achieves both objectives.

Samples of the stone were taken and test blocks were produced. The results were excellent. A detailed appraisal of the remaining reserves within the quarry was carried out. Whilst modest, they were not sufficient for Plasmor’s purposes. The reserves within two parcels of land adjoining the quarry (totalling 6.8ha) were then considered and a satisfactory gross reserve of 2.3 million tonnes was identified. At projected rates of working, this would provide Plasmor with security of supply for circa 20 years.

Some important benefits:

  • The working of Park Balk Quarry would provide the Company with the confidence to underpin its proposed investment and secure jobs at the Knottingley facility;
  • It would negate the need to import other stone to the Knottingley facility and would result in less congestion of key roads in the area;
  • The proposed rate of working would equate to an equivalent of 2 lorry movements per hour from the quarry split between the Knottingley facility and the plant at Great Heck. No haulage vehicles would pass through Knottingley. The distance from the quarry to the Knottingley facility is less than 1km;
  • Mobile processing plant would be required only sporadically at the quarry. This would crush stone to allow easier transportation and subsequent processing at the Company’s existing plant at its Womersley Road facility. The only permanent machine required would be a loading shovel;
  • The proposal would enable the early phased restoration of the disused quarry to the Authority’s stated purpose, i.e. as a wildlife site. Restoration would also present an opportunity for increased biodiversity and improved, formal public access;
  • Restoration would only involve soil haulage and placement, tree planting and grass seeding. Any amenity issues associated with restoration would exist irrespective of whether or not further quarrying took place.

Plasmor Exhibition Boards

Below are the public exhibition boards from the 17th of November. Click boards from below to enlarge them.

Plasmor ExhibitionPlasmor ExhibitionPlasmor ExhibitionPlasmor ExhibitionPlasmor Exhibition
Plasmor Exhibition
Plasmor Exhibition
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Plasmor Exhibition
Plasmor Exhibition

Consultation Feedback

  1. Seymour Future
    Posted November 16, 2015 at 3:37 pm

    Having lived in this area for most of my life i have seen a number of plants/factories/business go bust, not to mention the closure of power stations. People need to have a look at other areas of the uk to see poverty follows closure.

    Lets get on the back of this and listen to what has to be said and understand how this actually affects us and leave the “hear say” at the front door.

  2. B.Jones
    Posted November 11, 2015 at 9:21 am

    Over 2 days a few weeks ago heavy machinery turned, what was a not perfect but a nice area to walk in and which was getting better each year.
    Over those 2 days it gave us all just a tiny insight into what the noise and dirt would be like if quarrying took place there. It would be a thousand times noisier and dirtier. Bowsers have no real impact, just look down the road near Darrington quarry to prove this point.
    Quality of life has to take presidence otherwise what is the point.
    Plasmore will continue to employ people but will get their materials from elsewhere

  3. Ian Ship
    Posted November 10, 2015 at 1:07 pm

    I note with great interest that all the posts in favour of Plasmor are not brave enough to give thier names or details probably posted by Plasmor or thier employees.
    I note that they claim up to 150 jobs?
    Its funny when they wanted to extend their factory years ago they used the same figures it would runin the lives and possibly health of far more residents than that.
    NO NO NO to Plasmor give a little thought to people who just want a quiet safe and clean environment

  4. Gloria Vaughan
    Posted November 10, 2015 at 12:46 pm

    I was under the impression that the proposed quarrying would SECURE JOBS not CREATE new jobs. I got this information from the Plasmor (Enzygo) letter which was posted through my door. If this information is incorrect then the letter should be changed and then posted through my door and other residents doors. A few of the residents have walked the boundary and are shocked at the actual size of the quarry and are extremely concerned. I have seen comments on here which say Plasmor has been here longer than the Poplars .I am not disputing this fact does this mean the hundreds of residents outweigh the few. I wonder if the person who made this comment (no name given) would like to live in the middle of a building site.

  5. Treena Dunn
    Posted November 6, 2015 at 9:05 pm

    I would like to see a full wildlife survey carried out before any plans are made. I live on The Poplars and every night i have hedgehogs, foxes and bats visiting my garden so they must be coming from in there. I would also assume that there will be the possibility of great crested newts in that area too.
    Surely there is plenty of land around the current location of Plasmor for them to expand/renew?
    The noise from the current plant is annoying as it is, sounds like something out of War of the Worlds sometimes!

    • Simon
      Posted November 7, 2015 at 9:59 am

      Since when did the quarry turn into a house hold waste site? 6 weeks ago approximately 15t of waste was dumped in the quarry which looks similar to the waste from the troubled Great Heck site! Now after the recent heavy rains the quarry is starting to hold water and oily residues is seeping and waste debris is floating; Not good PLASMOR get your act cleaned up before the Environment agency come knocking on your door!

      • Plasmor brilliant
        Posted November 9, 2015 at 7:09 am

        Get your facts right the waste at the Great Heck site has got nothing to do with Plasmor, and when it is being quarried it won’t be like a house hold waste site will it? so make your mind up waste site or a quarry with security, the quarry and Plasmor was here a lot earlier than the Poplars, Knottingley has always been and hopefully will continue to be an industrial area. Keep up the good work Plasmor in providing a future for the working people of Knottingley and the surrounding area.

  6. craig
    Posted November 6, 2015 at 10:29 am

    Knottingley is a town built up on industry, how many people opposing this quarry actually work in Knottingley itself ? . How many more local businesses do we have see close down . It’s not only plasmon under threat but the local firms who supply them as well. I have lived in Knottingley all my life and next to a factory and that has been my choice. Hope people will be happy to see another firm go under and watch the rising employment increase and no doubt the crime within the town go the same way . Might as well turn off the lights in Knottingley and shut the door . People should read into the history of the town and see its wealth came from quarried stone ! .

    • Jennifer
      Posted November 8, 2015 at 8:58 am

      I don’t oppose local business expansion but when you live within 10 foot of the proposed site you began to get a little bit cheesed off with the lack of consideration for the surrounding local people if plasmor wish to buy my house at the value it is now then I would up and move but in a years time once the works started my house value would be a lot less and if that’s helping the working people then it’s like setting fire to your money and all the hard work you’ve done to your property and trying to better yourself in life so I will fight for the local people of downland crescent and poplars as plasmor have plenty of money to take elsewhere unlike the rest of us!!

  7. plasmor rocks !
    Posted November 6, 2015 at 10:23 am

    I am in full support of Plasmor, the restoration of this quarry will bring jobs to Knottingley and secure the future of many, which this town clearly needs !
    I have no doubt that Plasmor will ensure the safety of wildlife within the proposed area of works. Living very near to the site I will be pleased to see the back of burnt out cars, debris and fly tipped rubbish and not to forget to mention DOGS !POOH sorry for all those who walk their dogs without carrying a dog mess collection bag ! x

  8. Plasmor brilliant
    Posted November 6, 2015 at 6:53 am

    you should be aware Plasmor have always protected the great crested newts, clearly you don’t understand how Plasmor works, its a family firm with family values that cares about their workers and the surrounding area — and by the way there is no E on the end of Plasmor

  9. Mr P
    Posted November 5, 2015 at 7:53 pm

    DEFINITE NO
    A definite no from me on this proposal, I have lived on Downland Crescent for over 40 yrs,when they started mining before they used an exit and entrance sight which ran in-line with the bungalows in the entrance to the estate only 20yds away from the owners back doors.
    The road used joined the entrance to the estate which was illegal as they didn’t have planning permission from wakefield council,the quarry at that time was in the boundary of north Yorkshire and they had to apply for another access road to the quarry from north Yorkshire council.
    The road which you can now see.
    The old road was blocked off with a large stone lintel which is now covered by undergrowth.
    They didn’t mine for long but the noise was very loud and extremely dusty.
    The wagons wernt washed down and mud and limestone was splattered on the road,something I for one don’t want to have to put up with again.
    Seems like the wild life sanctuary is a ploy to get the plans passed ,or could be there will be no more slurry and waste from kellingley pit to fill it back in
    Another concern is the wild life, great crested newts are a protected and endangered species and have been living on this site for the past 40 yrs.

  10. We love plasmor
    Posted November 5, 2015 at 3:49 pm

    Plasmor United we will never be defeated!!!
    I will be supporting this project by Plasmor, The pits and power stations are closing down and this will create jobs for the local people
    #goplasmor

  11. #goplasmor
    Posted November 5, 2015 at 3:34 pm

    Plasmor united we will never be defeated!!!
    With the pits and power stations closing I will be supporting plasmors with this project creating more jobs for local people

  12. A & P Hargrave
    Posted November 5, 2015 at 1:34 pm

    We have lived in Downland Crescent for over 40yrs,the noise from Plasmore now early morning is bad enough without noise from the other side.a definate
    NO to Plasmore from us.

  13. MR J Warrington
    Posted November 5, 2015 at 8:16 am

    Lies have also been told to the elderly local residents in the bungalows on downland crescent regarding the first phase what their property overlook.

    They have been told “were going to make it lovely for you and turn it into a nature reserve” lovely they said, but NO mention of the 20 years plus worth of quarrying that prop up these plans.

    They are are disgusted it’s despicable behaviour especially low when done to the elderly and vulnerable!

    This what we have to deal with, lies and deceit.

    #notoplasmor

  14. MR J Warrington
    Posted November 5, 2015 at 8:06 am

    It seems plasmor have declared some of their plans to a local councillor ahead of the public consultation on the (17/11/2015) due to his enquiry at about the site. The first phase of 5 years will be directly to the back of downland crescent they are coming at the dust and noise factors with water bowsers to spray water to stop dust and bunding and screening to reduce noise (Examples of bunding and screening can be found on google images) I for one was well aware they would take these minor measures in order to TRY and get these plans through the planning stage.

    All people should be aware these methods have next to no impact where they are placed, we know this from previous experience with my partners employer. They also take these measures and some more they have millions of pounds on state of the art dust extraction systems and they still get constant complaints of noise and dust from both residential and commercial business in the area regarding dust and noise.

    These minor measures are meant to plicate local residents nothing more nothing less!

    #notoplasmor

  15. MR J Warrington
    Posted November 5, 2015 at 8:06 am

    It seems plasmor have declared some of their plans to a local councillor ahead of the public consultation on the (17/11/2015) due to his enquiry at about the site. The first phase of 5 years will be directly to the back of downland crescent they are coming at the dust and noise factors with water bowsers to spray water to stop dust and bunding and screening to reduce noise (Examples of bunding and screening can be found on google images) I for one was well aware they would take these minor measures in order to TRY and get these plans through the planning stage.

    All people should be aware these methods have next to no impact where they are placed, we know this from previous experience with my partners employer. They also take these measures and some more they have millions of pounds on state of the art dust extraction systems and they still get constant complaints of noise and dust from both residential and commercial business in the area regarding dust and noise.

    These minor measures are meant to plicate local residents nothing more nothing less!

    #notoplasmor

  16. Mr potter
    Posted November 4, 2015 at 9:00 pm

    Is this going to affect house prices?

  17. MR J Warrington
    Posted November 4, 2015 at 9:02 am

    I spoke to ENZYGO again yesterday (03/11/2015) to ask what their remit is….

    If they are working to protect the quarry site, wildlife and environment or to get big business through environmental hurdles to quarry the site. They said they were not allowed to discuss their remit!
    They are their simply to pass call concerns to plasmor for them basically to talk people around to their plans.
    I will today try and clarify the facts with plasmor and their legal department.

    John Warrington.

  18. Plasmor brilliant
    Posted November 4, 2015 at 8:25 am

    Before you all start knocking Plasmor attend the exhibition on the 17th November to see what the plans are, which I am sure will be a vast improvement to what the site currently has to offer (that is unless you like yobs riding motors bikes and cars been dumped and set on fire etc) by all means email Yvette Cooper I am sure she will be in full support after all it is safeguarding jobs and making the quarry a much safer place

  19. We love plasmor
    Posted November 2, 2015 at 1:20 pm

    Blocks not benefits!!!!!!
    Stone not dole!!!!!
    #goplasmor

  20. We love plasmor
    Posted November 2, 2015 at 12:24 pm

    Brilliant idea from plasmor! The quarry is a death trap at the minute and how there hasn’t been anyone injured or even killed on the mother bikes is beyond me! It creates jobs for local people and will be a dam site safer site than it is now!!! ###goplasmor

  21. Ian Ship
    Posted November 1, 2015 at 10:33 pm

    Typical big business riding roughshod over the locals.I have just emailled Evette Copper and asked her to help ,I have given her the details of this site.
    Sick of all the noise and dust coming fron the site already, Can you imagine all the dirt dust and mud being left on Womersley road which is not suitable fr heavy traffic.There is also the wildlife to be considered ,and even more the state of our lungs breathing in all thier dust year after year.

  22. Angela Vaughan
    Posted November 1, 2015 at 2:27 pm

    How incredibly sad that a multi million pound company would seek to line their own pockets more, to the detriment of local people that have worked hard all their lives to afford housing in a safe, peaceful area, rich in wildlife. This proposal simply cannot go ahead and shame on Plasmor if they pursue the intention of trampling local people in order to satisfy their own greed. Plasmor Fat Cats, please feel free to build your new plant in your own back garden! Shame on you!!

    • Ian Ship
      Posted November 1, 2015 at 10:48 pm

      It is appaling that big buisness is riding roughshod over the locals.I agree with all of the sentiments given above ,the noise and dust from thier site is terrible what is it doing to our health,what are the environmental departments doing have they ever checked the air quality in Womersley Road ?

      I am also concerned about all the Mud that would be taken onto Womersley Road by massive lorries the road is hardly suitable for cars and vans certainly heavy lorries.
      Plasmore state the employ 150 people they are mucking up the lives of the locals which is far more than 150
      I have emailed Evette Cooper and asked for her help

  23. B.Jones
    Posted November 1, 2015 at 9:45 am

    I absolutely agree with all the comments above, I will fight tooth and nail to prevent this happening.
    I regularly walk with my grandchildren in the disused quarry, the wildlife and amount of wild flowers should be saved not destroyed.

  24. Tony
    Posted October 31, 2015 at 6:41 pm

    The reopening of the quarry must not be allowed. The impact it will have to the local residents will be disastrous. Not to mention the extra heavy traffic passing along womersley road, which is already very busy with delivery lorries.

  25. D Howard
    Posted October 31, 2015 at 6:20 pm

    I totally agree with all the comments. We moved to this area for the peace and quiet and the views. Like many we have spent a lot of time , effort and money to enjoy what we have worked hard for. I work shifts, ( i’m sure i,m not the only one ) how on earth do we sleep with the constant noise of the lorries beeping, it would be like trying to sleep with your alarm clock constantly beeping. We will definitely be opposing this project !

  26. MR J Warrington
    Posted October 31, 2015 at 7:21 am

    Please be aware people i left verbal feedback to stop this proposal within an hour of me doing this i had a phonecall from a chap that says he used to own the quarry, trying to get me to change my mind. And using the securing of jobs as a guilt trip and ploy to get people to agree. But when you get onto the main objection points noise and dust all you get is…. You live in a mineral deposit area that could be mined at anytime…..This should be shown in your property searches when you bought your house…..

    While we were renovating our new home (only been in 2 weeks) i have heard so much noise which sounded so close but thought it could not be in there but apparently it was they were digging test samples and crushing them to make test blocks with to check the quality of limestone, the noise was horrific.

    We do not want this everyday, day in day out for 20 years!

    No Call from Mr Slater MD Though he has the past owner doing his dirty work,

  27. Michelle Reynolds
    Posted October 30, 2015 at 11:23 am

    I agree with all of the above comments regarding the re opening of the quarry. The noise and air pollution in Knottingley is already high due to various local industries, to add to this is, I believe, is not good for the environment and the local community. The quarry is home to many species of wildlife including deer, foxes,grass snakes and many other species. We have little wildlife in Knottingley as it is. The opening of the quarry would have a direct impact on the community in the surrounding areas, resulting in depreciation of house prices, health issues, environmental issues and noise/air pollution. While I appreciate the notion of securing jobs, the local residents will suffer both physically and financially.

  28. Gloria Vaughan
    Posted October 30, 2015 at 11:01 am

    I concur to all the above comments. I am mostly at risk along with number 58 & 60 The Poplars, as the boundary line is almost up to my fence, recently purchased for £2000. I do not want to sit out in my garden after working all week to hear the beep beep of reversing vehicles. You can hear this from the plant at the top of Womersley Road so the noise would be almost unbearable at my back door, mot to mention the dust and worries over my health as I have asthma. I am starting a petition as we speak contacted the local papers and getting advice form a local councilor. I will not let this rest until this is objected but first local residents and finally the council.

  29. Mrs J Gale
    Posted October 30, 2015 at 7:27 am

    We live on the Poplars we already experience lots of noise from the existing plant not to mention to amount of dust it creates.
    Womersley road is already busy enough with your vehicles transporting finished blocks no doubt the traffic will more than double once the excavation of the quarry starts.

  30. Miss Birkby
    Posted October 29, 2015 at 8:23 pm

    I am in absolute agreement with the above comments, there is absolutely no way I will be consenting to these proposals. My property directly backs onto the quarry. To reopen the quarry and mine here will massively depreciate the value of my property. I also have a toddler and would not want the noise and disruption of a working quarry directly behind my property. What I am absolutely shocked by is the fact that I have only just purchased my property and the searches I had carried out by my solicitor stated that there were NO plans for any work to be carried out in the quarry. These searches have only been done a couple of months ago, and I do not believe for one minute these plans were not known by yourselves two months ago. If these had come up on the searches I would not have purchased my property. To reiterate I WILL NOT be consenting to these proposals.

  31. J Lane
    Posted October 29, 2015 at 6:49 pm

    As other have commented this proposal is a definite no there is a large amount of wildlife in the area including great crested newts which are endangered also I have a young child and wouldn’t want him surrounded by constant noise and destruction. my property backs directly onto this quarry and I’m afraid it would be over my dead body in doing this proposal I have spent a lot of hard earned money renovating my property and feel this would massively depreciate the value would you want it in your back garden I think not!!

  32. K Walker
    Posted October 29, 2015 at 4:04 pm

    I am absolutely furious about this proprosal and will definitely be opposing it. We back right onto this area and cannot even contemplate losing the view and peace and quiet not to mention the loss of wildlife environment, decreased value of my property, air and noise pollution, increased traffic on Wommersley road I could go on.

  33. MR J Warrington
    Posted October 29, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    Dear Mr Slater (MD Plasmor Group)

    Over my dead body i have only just moved to this area (The Poplars) for peace.
    We already hear more than enough noise from your knottingley works, without the quarry right next door to us being mined as well, do you want to live next door?
    No i thought Not!

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