A proposal to transform a large Armagh quarry into a scenic hinterland are currently under consideration by Council planners.
The quarry in question – on the Loughgall Road – is slowly coming to the end of its natural mining life-span, with the owner looking ahead to uses in the coming years.
Armagh City Quarries currently operate the site but a planning application to fill the vast cavity with inert waste has been lodged with Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council.
The proposal is for the continued use of of existing administration facilities, incorporating the weighbridge and office area, to landfill with sand and concrete waste.
When filled there will be a restoration of agricultural land, trees, grassland and even a lake.
The application was made by the Armagh City Quarry which is a family-owned business which had been running for over 40 years.
Plans state: “The quarry is active and provides both direct and indirect employment and supports the local economy.
“However given the limited remaining life expectancy of the extraction operations it is within this context that the applicant wishes to apply for planning permission”.
Speaking to Armagh I, owner of the quarry, Bryan Elliot said: “This is to be a gradual process, mining will continue whilst the restoration work is being carried out.
“There will be no harmful or hazardous waste materials put in to fill the land only inert waste”.
Planning documents stated the filling operation is anticipated to take 30 years, with the first 4-5 years spent filling in the deepest section to the south of the pit.
This is to coincide with the mining of the remainder of the north of the pit with machinery currently being used for mining to be utilised for the landfill.