PLANS to extend a quarry to extract 2.75 million tonnes of stone on moorland close to Rivington Pike have been resubmitted despite being unanimously rejected by councillors in March.

Armstrongs Aggregates Ltd, which operates Montcliffe Quarry, Georges Lane, Horwich, asked for permission for an extension of approximately 3.2 hectares on green land to the north west of the existing quarry.

Councillors on Bolton’s planning committee unanimously opposed the plans on March 4 saying it would have a harmful affect on greenbelt land and affect the openness of the nearby moors and hills.

Earlier this month Armstrongs placed identical plans in front of Bolton Council by submitting a duplicate application.

A covering letter with the plans, states the application would benefit Horwich and the wider Bolton area.

It said: “Being located within the area of Horwich, the site is well placed to deliver sustainable benefits of locally sourced building stone and aggregates to the nearby construction and restoration market.

“This should be considered as a fundamental benefit to Bolton and the surrounding areas.

“The need for minerals within Horwich and the surrounding areas will not cease and by refusing this resubmitted proposal the council will be encouraging the use of minerals from further afield which will increase the carbon footprint of all future developments within the vicinity of Horwich.

“It is accepted that there will be a moderate impact on the landscape and also some impact on the local residents who live near to the existing quarry and proposed extension area during the operational timescale.

“However, minerals do not have the benefit of being won anywhere other than where they can be found.

“It should also be noted that the quarries have been a part of the landscape for over 100 years and that landscape does not simply consist of flora and fauna.”

The report added that the original application was supported by officer recommendation and with no objections made by the statutory consultees.

However, that previous application was the subject of 91 letters of objection from residents and strong opposition from Horwich Town Council and borough councillors.

Speaking against identical plans in March Horwich councillor Richard Silvester said: “Over 90 letters of objection have been received.

“The site is within the green belt and the Winter Hill and Smithills Moor sites of biological importance and the upland moorland hills landscape character area.

“It is also adjacent to the newly created West Pennine Moors site of special interest.

“I believe the application to extend the quarry into open green belt land will quite definitely not preserve that openness.”

Fellow councillor Marie Brady, from Horwich and Blackrod First Independents said that the ‘quarry face is visible from miles away and it dominates the landscape and this will mean it will cut even higher into the hillside’.

The plans will be decided on by planners at a date to be decided.