Approval is being sought for a 20 year extension to the lifespan of a quarry near Athenry, and a substantial expansion of its area of operation.
Coshla Quarries Ltd are seeking a 20 year planning permission for the continued operation of the existing quarry at Barretspark, Athenry and all of its associated uses.
The existing permission for this quarry, which was granted in 2007, is due to expire in 2021.
The developer also wants to expand the quarry extraction area onto new lands to the north, east, and south of where they currently work.
The total area of the proposed expansion amounts to 6.7 hectares.
The 20 year extension is being sought because the it has been assessed that this is how long it will take to exhaust the site, including the area in the expansion.
“The rationale for seeking this permission duration is based on the considerable capital investment required to develop and extend the quarry activity,” the application argues.
“Quarry operators require some certainty that this level of investment can be made with the knowledge that there is long term viability in the extraction and processing of material”.
The application acknowledges that there is often a reluctance to grant planning permission for periods longer than 10 years, as a lot can change in that time.
But it argues that “the need for aggregates and building materials will remain as long as there is a demand for new buildings and infrastructure projects”.
An Environmental Impact Assessment Report and Natura Impact Statement have been included with the planning application.
Coshla Quarries are also seeking a massive expansion of the amount of traffic permitted from this site as part of the application.
Currently only 50 two-way vehicle movements to and from the site are permitted, the result of a condition imposed by An Bord Pleanála in 2011.
The developer is asking the council to raise that limit to 137 two-way movements a day, arguing that the junction between the local service road and the regional road, the source of the Board’s concern, has been upgraded in the years since.
Galway County Council is due to make a decision on this planning application by June 15.