Licence Issued For Pendrethen Waste Operation

Pendrathen quarry

Pendrethen quarry

The Environment Agency has granted a licence for waste to be processed at the Pendrethen Quarry on St Mary’s.

But the Council says planning permission or a Lawful Development Certificate will still be required for the work to begin.

And they say local residents will be consulted as part of any formal planning application.

The licence was issued to the operator, Mulciber Limited, by the Environment Agency in May.

This will allow them to crush inert building waste, like old bricks, tiles and concrete for use in new construction work, such as screening bunds at the Council-run Moorwell dump.

But the Agency says the operator will also have to move a quantity of waste that was transferred there in error from Moorwell.

Tests conducted by the Environment Agency showed that it’s contaminated with asbestos, although they say the quantities are small and represent a very small risk to human health.

They say it has been isolated to stop it being disturbed and creating airborne particles.

In August 2012, the Council denied that waste was being dumped at Pendrethen.

It’s expected that the material will be moved back to Moorwell, “towards the latter part of 2015” and the Council says the transfer “will be conducted in an appropriate manner to mitigate any risk.”

The Pendrethen and Bar Point areas were the subject of a public enquiry in the 1980’s following a proposal to use them as waste sites.

The enquiry ruled against that at the time.



17 Responses to Licence Issued For Pendrethen Waste Operation

  1. pete June 16, 2015 at 8:57 am

    Have some of the respondents lost the point of the matter in question. And have reverted to a personal issue, attack.

    • Halibut Schmeiser June 16, 2015 at 9:40 pm

      You are of course right, to quote Albert Schweitzer “Man is a clever animal who behaves like an imbecile.”. Having said that the tedious outpourings from the two R’s and Mr & Mrs Nottoo present something of an open goal and blatant nimbyism deserves challenge and ridicule.

  2. Bob S June 12, 2015 at 1:30 pm

    So what happens when Mr Hessing et al wish to do some building work to inflate the price of their already valuable properties, and have some blocks, paving slabs and rubble to get rid of? They’ll probably take it to Moorwell, but they might change their mind when they see how much this now costs, but for them, out of sight out of mind – it’s someone else’s problem and as long as nothing happens in their oasis of calm and tranquillity they’ll be happy.

    I would agree with those complaining if this plan involved turning Pendrethen into a rubbish dump but this simply doesn’t appear to be what is planned. Where are the thousands of tonnes of extra material per year going to come from that Mr Hessing talks of? I would understand his concerns if this involved crushing day and night, trucks and lorries up and down the road all day long, but surely Scilly doesn’t produce that much construction material annually anyway.

    Does Mr Hessing’s argument against “who comes first can do what they like” mean that the siting of other local existing infrastructure can be challenged? I suspect the poor people that live along the main street in Hugh Town are fed up with the daily noise of traffic and at present the nightly noise of construction equipment . Should they lobby to get the main road moved? How about those that live in the vicinity of the airport? This is noisy so should it be moved? What about those that live next to the quay and endure night unloading and traffic? Finally what about those that live next to Moorwell? Look at what they have endured for years! Good on the local council for doing its best to try to get to grips with this. The serious point from all of this is that we all live on a small island so everyone has to endure some disruption for the greater good. If Mr Hessing can suggest a suitable dreamland site that fulfils his criteria for waste disposal on St. Mary’s then good luck to him!

    Mr Hessing also makes the point that sites were made available for locals to build their houses on. Does this include the house that he now lives in, which was built by a local who if memory serves me correctly was actually employed at Pendrethen Quarry!

    I don’t know who Mr and Mrs Bright are, but I’m guessing if they are residents, they are second home owners, who do not live here full time nor have to make a living here. Am I right? In addition, if my memory is correct, the viewing platform they refer to was in fact the tipping platform for the Quarry.

    Most of us who live and work full time in Scilly have to earn our money. We aren’t paid a locum doctor’s wages (what is this £500+ a day?), nor are we on large pensions. Perhaps the good doctor could step out of his ivory tower and pull a few pints, make up some beds, crew a pleasure boat, work on a building site, haul lobster pots all day or pick some flowers so he can see the real Scilly. And perhaps when out of his ivory tower, he could look around at the lifestyles in Scilly and the various sorts of waste they generate – and be happy someone’s doing something to recycle some of the better bits.

    As far as my memory serves, Pendrethen Quarry has been used as a site for crushing and processing materials for over 50 years. I expect a number of houses along the road to the Pendrethen were built using blocks or aggregate made at the Quarry. But that was when Scilly was resourceful, self-reliant and populated by highly skilled, can-do people, which is sadly an increasingly distant memory for most of us locals.

    Notwithstanding the above, any operation should be properly licensed, but it would seem that this is exactly what is being done here.

    P.S. Shouldn’t Mr Wornes save some of his energy for fighting the development of 120 houses at the other end of his road??!

    • Jann June 15, 2015 at 5:18 pm

      Well said, in a longer way what I was trying to tell Sir Randoff.
      With a few days research it turns out the “road” (these residents all bang on about and pretend is theirs when……. it suits) was built by a Mr Perren who was extracting stone from the quarry, long before any houses were built there or any of these people knew where Scilly was. There was a path/donkey track down thru what was garden/allotments to Pendrethen cove/slip/landing beach. Fact Mr Hessing.

  3. Alison k June 11, 2015 at 6:19 pm

    Whilst I come from a family with a recycling background we have to make sure we have the right place and facility to do this. Thinking laterally – I know this may cause a temporary, horrible disruption but – clear moor well to the quarry, top it over with grass and trees, it is already badly contaminated anyway, you really don’t want to think about what is already there as contaminants. Clear moor well and continue the plan to make it into our recycling centre for which we already have the funding . Therefore we solve 2 contaminated sites, making one into a pleasant place and making the eye sore at the dump a safe, usable, working recycling centre where we are not hauling ‘waste’ halfway round the island forever. Perhaps the company looking at the quarry could be involved at moor well so reducing the need for the direct labour force to be overstretched. Just a thought, I will retreat behind the parapet now!

  4. Dr R. Hessing June 11, 2015 at 10:33 am

    Correction, the companies name is Mulciber Ltd. I would agree with part of Sara Corbett comment. The Robert family are decent hard working family with plenty of entrepreneurial
    spirit.
    It is the policy as a whole that is highly questionable. There is no reason why Mulciber Ltd
    should not be part of the solution.

  5. Dr. Randolph Hessing June 10, 2015 at 4:31 pm

    Yes, it was rejected in the 1980’s.
    I was not here at the time but I understand that it was an issue at the time that exercised a lot of opinion and emotions and was rejected comprehensively.
    I am therefore mystified that another attempt is being made to justify what has been already rejected.
    The Environmetal Agency (EA) has granted Exalciber Ltd two licenses.
    A M1 exemption license valid from 16.1.14 – January 2017(3years) and allows 3 categories of waste to be screened, deposited, utilised on site, crushed and distributed for use elsewhere. This ranges from 5000-50000 tonnes and includes tiles,ceramics,mixtures of concrete,bricks,track ballast,glass,sand,stones,aggregates,dredging spoil,soil,bituminous waste,plant tissue waste,untreated wood,bituminous mixtures and road sub base (concrete,cement and rock). This also allows the operator to utilise these materials for construction in the quarry.
    The EA also assumes that the council has issued a T7 exemption license which the council infrastructure department denies.
    A bespoke waste permit has also been issued by the EA. This allows the operator to process up to 8000 tonnes of mainly building and related waste a year at Pendrethen.
    The private operator has indicated that he will apply for’lawful use’ instead of planning consent to the council. This means, if granted by the council, it would avoid the need for planning process and consent and potential conditions in regards to the operating license thereby excluding third party (the public) appeal. However the quarry operator could appeal if rejected.
    This particular legal avenue (EA exemptions,EA permit, lawful use) is obviously employed to avoid public consultation. (That’s us)
    It makes a mockery of the islands independence,our council representatives and the public and is a profoundly undemocratic scheme.
    I hold the view that Moorwell, Pendrethen and any other waste management should be done on one built for purpose bespoke site.
    The location would have to fulfil some basic criteria:
    -direct accessibility by road
    -minimal impact on residents,business and environment.
    -well away from essential local infrastructure such as schools, health facilities and water supply.
    -capacity to meet requirements.
    There are many more issues to be considered but these are some of the basic ones.
    Both Moorwell ( the clue lies in the name) and Pendrethen do not meet these criteria and are therefore totally unsuitable and irrational choices for our future waste management.
    Both have no direct road access, are located in the immediate area of local people’s homes ( Pilotes retreat, Jacksons Hill, Mcfarlands down) affecting hundreds of people significantly, have a direct negative impact on businesses. Moorwell is actually situated on top of our local water supplying!
    It is probably the last places one would waste sites. Nevertheless it seems to be taken for granted these sites are suitable even after the appalling recent history at both Moorwell and Pendrethen. Never mind the local people/homes and businesses, environment and infrastructure.
    Somehow we don’t seem to matter. It’s the process that counts never mind the outcome.
    I often hear the opinion that Moorwell and Pendrethen were there first so nobody has a reason to complain.
    A rather punitive view based on who comes first can do what they like.
    Isn’t now when people’s homes are literally bordering these sites exactly the time to do something about it. Especially as the same local people had to accept the building sites made available to them at the time if they wanted to stay and have homes on IOS.
    The is a long list of unanswered issues surrounding this subject and I think it is finally time for us all to wake up and confront the challenge.
    As it is now we are one step away from an inadequate solution being forced upon us that is unsuitable,irrational and unsustainable.
    I hope we can all discuss this matter in a civilised way and find a much better solution for the health and wellbeing of us all.
    There are alternatives.
    It would take a cooperative approach by the Council, Duchy and the public.
    Surely that is possible

    • Jann June 12, 2015 at 10:29 am

      The problem with your argument Mr Incomer Recently Retired Doctor, is you have just confirmed that the Quarry (which has never ceased to be used) meets your “criteria” 1. it has direct road access. 2.Minimal impact= area of few residents, no business’s, in an existing site so no impact on environment. 3. it is well away from School, Health, and one of a few areas not near a bore hole for water. 4. It has the capacity to handle the waste Building Materials,(Houses are not been knock down all the time how much waste do you think there will be, the tonnage’s are limits not demands they process that much!) So ideal place for it. There is not another place on St Mary’s where it would not impact any less on people, you Nimbys.

      • Randolph Hessing June 12, 2015 at 4:54 pm

        If objecting to having any quantity of waste clattering past our doors largely single lane riverbed,threatening the businesses of 5 tourist establishments, in direct proximity of an archeological ancient monument, not to mention Moorwell affecting Jackson hill and Pilots retreat then I am happy to be a new coming Nimby.
        Maybe if some of the old comers had not stuck their head in the sand we would not have had the Moorwell disaster in the first place.

      • Randolph Hessing June 12, 2015 at 5:34 pm

        P.S.
        Taken Mooreell and Mcfarlands Down together, there are 100 dreds of people directly adversely affected. So why not have a bespoke waste site that can deal with it all.
        The track down McFarlands down was built for a military installation before the disused quarry started operating.

  6. Nick and Geri Bright June 10, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    There are few views as lovely as that from the viewing platform at Pendrethen quarry. Turning the (disused) quarry into a waste process plant would be a disaster. The Natural England map includes the viewing platform and the road alongside it down the hill within the (disused) quarry boundary. The operator wants to run a private business on site collecting and processing varied waste material. It will be a self-regulated private business. The operator will be the arbiter of noise, vibration, dust and pollution on site. However there is no responsibility for nuisance in transit. The asbestos contaminated waste that the operator collected from Moorwell is still at the quarry. It was erroneously (or is that illegally!) moved. The council and Kiers dumped hundreds of tons of “waste” from the Porthcressa development without a permit from the E.A. and we have no proof of its safety. This abuse has been heaped on the residents of Telegraph and McFarlands Down; now the prospect of heavy laden lorries on this cart track with resultant diesel fumes, noise, vibration, dust and pollution will have a profound impact on properties and holiday business in the area. Hundreds of visitors walk the coastal path visiting the ancient monuments of Halangy and Innisidgen. The operator will keep his mining rights so able to use explosives. What are the proposed working hours? Where will be the processed waste be utilised? Building regulations are very prescriptive. Once planning permission for the quarry is granted there is no redress. Pendrethen will be an industrial site. The mismanagement of Moorwell has created a toxic disaster. Is that what we want for Pendrethen. Whilst understanding the Islands have a huge problem with waste, allowing use of a site as precious as Pendrethen would destroy the very thing the Islands are famous for. Albert Schweizer said “Man has lost the capacity to foresee and forestall. He will end by destroying the earth”

    • P Lebian June 12, 2015 at 9:32 am

      What as pair of Johnny come lately types you two are, the grandest of nimbys.
      The toxicity in the region of the quarry, if it exists at all, starts part way down McFarland Down’s road which was built to serve the quarry; the very place that provided the materials good people built your house from!
      Give a local man with business acumen and a love of the Islands a chance to make a contribution to resolving a problem that your sort just want to pass on to someone else. Perhaps you should consider what Albert Schweitzer would have made of you?

  7. Sara Corbett June 10, 2015 at 2:12 pm

    One thing you all seem to have overlooked is that this isn’t a faceless company but a Ltd company whose sole director is Diccon Rogers. I really think that this sort of initiative in a local man should be encouraged. He will be recycling builders rubbish to re use in building work and roads etc. What else is going to happen to it? Scilly has a big rubbish problem and where some of that rubbish can be recycled and put to a good use within the islands it had got to be good.
    I am sure that the reality of it will be much less scary than people are thinking.
    If the council can’t or won’t do this then I for one think that Diccon is to be congratulated for finding a use for the builders waste

  8. Ray Wornes June 9, 2015 at 12:14 pm

    We appear to be in the process of giving away our only opportunity, fought for over the past 30 years at great personal cost, to have the most cost effective and the most environmentally protecting waste operation that would save this precious Scilly environment from any further toxic contamination. However the private interests of the Duchy, the IOSSCo and a private operator are now beginning their effort to take control of some of the profitable parts of our Council’s waste operation. I have fought so many battles against technical ignorance, pollution, unjustified cost and private interests over the years that this Council owes it to residents to keep control of all aspects of its waste operation by refusing to adopt the co-mingled bag privatised option for which we will earn nothing and by refusing to hand over suspect waste materials to a private operator that are likely to contain pollutants that some want sent to Pendrathen. The Council can itself earn money from selling our recyclables in order to pay some of the costs of our boat transportation to the mainland. Going along the privatisation route will cost taxpayers lots more money for a lesser service. It has already cost a large sum sending waste to Pendrathen that was found to be contaminated waste that will have to be sent back to Moorwell. The EA who authorised that operation should be sent that bill. There will be totally unnecessary transport costs and Pendrathen site charges when the Council already has an enormously large site of its own at Moorwell. It has already proved impossible to detect toxic pollution in the wastes that could be destined for Pendrathen. Before this we were making steady progress towards putting in place the most cost effective and the best recycling operation in the UK but we are now going backwards towards the bad old days of 1985 with unqualified private operators trying to make money using Pendrathen. After 30 years fighting to save our Pendrathen coastline from toxic contamination we are right back at square one. I’m convinced they will end up poisoning our coastal environment in a Conservation Area. With a tip-site like Moorwell you cannot start separating out recyclable bits of waste. With all the downsides to that plan It’s time the Duchy started to act responsibly for a change. Councillors can reject these proposals on grounds of unnecessary cost and on grounds of environmental protection, traffic congestion, risk to the public from heavy lorries on a narrow residential road with no pavement frequented by residents and their children, walkers, horse riders, car drivers, tourist hired cycles and electric buggies. Stop this utter stupidity now. It can only damage tourism.

    • Len Murrey June 9, 2015 at 7:55 pm

      ‘ Nevertheless these could be exciting times!’ I am quoting the closing statement that you made last June on this very topic, waste recycling on the islands……did you not consider that the everyone needs to play their part and if that means that you have the inconvenience of some rubble being crushed at the end of your lane so be it.
      Try living nearer the pungent odour that is creeping out of the Alp at Moorwell and think yourself lucky.
      As for the risk to pedestrians, horse riders, buggies, cyclists et al the main road at the top of McFarlands doesn’t boast a pavement yet people are prepared to risk the dangers of traffic.
      Get real!

    • Leslie Welch June 9, 2015 at 8:33 pm

      What possible personal cost, did you ever give up a days work? Constantly whinging on is free, it’s not like you have been standing on some ultimately hopeless picket line for months on end? Which reminds me when did you start caring about horses?

  9. Alec hicks June 8, 2015 at 10:04 pm

    May get a good road out of it to pendrathen but that would be the only positive benefit Alec