There are significant challenges to the deliverability of the proposed Coddington Quarry site, both from the ownership structure of the parcels of land making up the site and from several strategically important infrastructures crossing the site.
The ownership structure of the parcels of land at the site have been examined via the records at the Land Registry, making use of the INSPIRE spatial dataset combined with title documents and plans and show that:
The quarry site consists of 10 parcels of land owned by three families and one local charity, with varying rights within individual parcels based on the history of ownership.
The parcels sometimes have partial or full access to mineral and mining rights to a varying depth, but there can also be competing claims for these rights within the same title document:
- Some parcels have competing claims for the mineral rights from between one and three other parties.
- There are also restrictive covenants in place on some parcels that may prevent quarrying operations, including transport over the parcel, taking place at all.
- Some parcels of land have other restrictions in place that could either prevent quarrying or restrict the scope of work to allow continued rights of way or access for maintenance.
These factors will make it difficult to develop the site, and make it unlikely that the developer has the required agreements in place with all of the different parties involved across the 300 acre site.
There are several important pieces of nationally or regionally strategic infrastructure crossing the site in roughly a North-South direction which will restrict development of the site by the requirement to retain clearance zones around them both for safety and to allow continuous access for maintenance and repair work on them.
The Government Pipeline and Storage System has a 6 to 8 inch bore pipeline from Rawcliffe in the East Riding to Sandy in Bedfordshire, which crosses the site. This is of national strategic importance as it is used to carry aviation fuel (at a high pressure of 50 bar) from Immingham to the airports at Heathrow and Gatwick. The pipeline is currently under the ownership of the Ministry of Defence, with covenants in place on relevant title documents to ensure suitable access is available at all times.
The National Grid has two nationally and regionally important assets crossing the site:
- A 400,000 volt transmission line running from the power stations at Cottam and West Burton down to supply points in the South of England; and,
- A high pressure natural gas pipeline which is part of the national gas distribution network across the country, connecting consumers to offshore and imported gas supplies.
Both of these assets will require clearance zones and access for maintenance and repairs, and would not be economic to relocate due to the very significant engineering and business disruption costs involved.
Also, Western Power Distribution own a local electricity high voltage distribution line running across the site, which would be a significant safety hazard for any large mobile plant moving underneath, and could also cause a difficulty for the distribution business if damage to the asset resulted in customers being disconnected from their electricity supply.
In addition to these north-south infrastructures there is also a requirement to protect the important Moor Brats Drain water course which runs across the site, causing additional challenges to the deliverability of the quarry site.
The deliverability of the Coddington quarry site is questionable, both in terms of reaching the required agreements with landowners and minerals rights holders, and from the constraints imposed by the significant infrastructure and waterway crossing the site.