PLANS to deepen Lanehead Quarry in Clitheroe have been approved by Lancashire County Council.

The proposal for the quarry based at Ribblesdale Cement Works, will deepen the site to 31 metres from its current depth of 17 metres.

By deepening the quarry an extra amount of limestone would be able to be worked, which would be carried out by using drill and blast techniques.

The approval has meant that the life of the Lanehead Quarry has been extended by around 13 years.

The quarry has been in operation for more than 70 years producing limestone and shale for use in the adjacent cement works.

Concerns were raised by residents about the impact of blasting vibration on their properties.

The county council’s planning committee passed the application unanimously at the meeting on Wednesday.

In a report to the planning committee, Jonathan Haine from the Environment Directorate said: “Whilst in purely tonnage terms there are sufficient reserves of materials to supply the long term requirements of the Ribblesdale Works, it is important to consider the reserve position in terms of the need to access reserves of the correct quality at the required rates.

“In terms of the sustainable use of minerals, the deepening of the quarry would enable the working of reserves within an existing quarry that might otherwise be sterilised if working ceased and the quarry was allowed to refill with water.

“The deepening of the quarry would not result in greater levels of noise, dust or blasting vibration and therefore the local amenity impacts would not be any more severe, although they would be experienced over a longer timescale. The impacts on local amenity are therefore considered acceptable.”

Committee member County Coun Allan Schofield said: “I’m very aware of the economic benefits of this facility both to date and in the future.”