TWENTY per cent of cases of unauthorised quarrying that resulted in owners receiving enforcement, submission or temporary stop notices over the past five years were in the North West, Environment Minister Alex Attwood has revealed.
Three quarries in Londonderry (Killaloo, Campsie and Claudy) and two in Strabane (Donemana and Victoria Bridge) were amongst twenty-five across Northern Ireland to fall foul of the law.
Mr Attwood stated: “Over the last five years the Department has opened approximately 178 enforcement cases to investigate unauthorised winning and working of minerals (quarrying) across Northern Ireland.
“Of those cases, 25 have been the subject of an Enforcement Notice, a Submission Notice or a Temporary Stop Notice.”
The Environment Minister went on to provide details of the locations and offenders across Northern Ireland.
In Londonderry a quarry belonging to Mr Anthony Harley 60 metres north west of 77 Kildoag Road, Killaloo was subject to an enforcement notice.
Also in Londonderry a quarry belonging to Mr Paul Doherty 550 metres north of 70 Mobuoy Road, Campsie was subject to an enforcement notice.
And a quarry belonging to Mr George Colin Craig to the rear of 341 Longland Road, Gilky hill, Claudy, was subject to a temporary stop notice.
In the neighbouring Strabane district a quarry belonging to Mr Alfred Lindsay Woods at 38A Moyagh Road, Donemana was subject to an enforcement notice and a quarry belonging to Mr George Kelly at Old Bridge road, Victoria Bridge, Urbalreagh was subject to a temporary stop notice.
Mr Attwood stated: “Of the 25 Notices issued, 5 are either currently or have been subject to prosecution for non compliance. Of those already convicted, the Department has secured fines of £13,500 and court costs of £950 awarded.
“I have requested details of each case where a notice has been served currently stands, including cases that go back some time. I will forward details to the member in due course.”
The Minister was also asked what licences are required before a quarry becomes authorised.
He explained: “Any quarrying operation requires planning permission, as set out in the Planning (NI) Order 1991, as amended. In addition under the Pollution Prevention and Control Regulation (NI) 2003 a Part B permit is required prior to operation for any crushing and screening activities at a quarry where there is a potential release of dust to the air. Under the Water Order (NI) 1999 a consent to discharge is required where there is a release to a waterway.
“Operating without any of these permissions is an offence under the relevant legislation and on conviction is punishable by a fine of up to £30,000 or in certain circumstances up to 6 months in prison. However sentencing is a matters for the courts.”