Old quarry could be jobs goldmine
A REDUNDANT quarry in Backwell could be transformed into an industrial park, bringing hundreds of new jobs to the area.
Coles Quarry has lain dormant since closing in 2005 and has become a target for vandals. Now owner Griffiths and Hosier has appointed architects to draw up plans to breathe new life into the 95-acre site.
The plans include demolishing the old and dilapidated quarry buildings and replacing them with 35,000 sq ft of office and light industrial units.
There are also plans to include an "eco park" in the development offering space to green businesses.
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Units could also be made available for craft workshops or therapy centres.
Part of the quarry, which was last used as a bagging plant, has been landscaped. The area which is still mainly rock faces and large piles of stone would also be landscaped with trees and a central feature of playing fields.
The new fields would be available to nearby Backwell Junior School during the day and to the local community during the evenings and at weekends.
A car park for the school would also be created on an area of the quarry once used for parking when it was operational.
A footpath link would be built from the car park into the rear of the school.
It is hoped that the car parking facility would stop parents from parking in Church Lane and Dark Lane to drop off and collect their children.
The quarry is surrounded by 70 acres of woodland and this would be donated to Backwell Environment Trust to manage in the future.
A covenant will be placed on the land protecting it from further development in the future.
Planning consultants have already held discussions with North Somerset Council.
It is hoped that a planning application will be submitted by the end of the year and, if approved, work could start on the development in the spring.
The development is expected to take around two years to complete and it is estimated that it could bring up to 350 new jobs to the area.
Planning agent Fred Malton said: "The development would see 35,000 sq ft of office and light industrial space provided for local business.
"The old quarry buildings would be demolished.
"This scheme will breathe new life into the quarry and provide units for people who have business locally.
"Not only that but it will also offer premises for those people wanting to start up a business in the area and those looking for a base locally who are perhaps currently having to commute into Bristol.
"The units will be built so they can be adapted to individual needs."
Plans for the development are due to go on show at Backwell Parish Hall next month where Mr Malton and Bristol-based architects Angus Meek will be on hand to explain the plans and answer questions.
Villagers can view the plans on November 8 from 6pm until 9pm, November 10 from 2pm until 6pm, November 22 from 6pm until 9pm and from 9am until noon on November 24.