Callow Quarry - hard choices
Hard rock is the foundation on which lies many of our most beautiful and treasured landscapes. It is also the source of a wide range of construction materials and a vital part of our economy. Meeting the demands of both is one of the more challenging tasks a landscape architect can take on. A good example is Aggregate Industries Callow Rock Quarry, which is set within the Mendip Hills AONB, and within an area permeated by high levels of earth science, nature conservation and cultural heritage interest.
In 2016 DJA’s planning and landscape teams were commissioned to prepare a planning application to extend the quarry, provide iterative design advice and carry out a landscape and visual assessment. The potential effects of implementing the consented scheme of working and restoration at the nearby Shipham Quarry also formed part of the brief.
The proposed extension will quarry through the crest of a limestone scarp- a highly sensitive and visible component of the AONB. Arriving at a design that would safeguard both the AONB and stone reserves required intensive study and testing of alternative options. This was achieved, the final working and restoration design was subject to full EIA and submitted to Somerset County Council in 2016. The scheme was approved by the Authority in 2018. The restoration allows for the provision of enhanced wildlife habitat and public access.