The Birkhams Quarry Section 73 Planning Application, which was granted permission in April 2015 was co-ordinated and prepared on behalf of Marshalls Stancliffe Stones by Stephenson Halliday. It incorporated the introduction of regular liaison and collaboration with Cumbria Geo-Conservation, The National Trust and Cumbria County Council, which has been coordinated by Stephenson Halliday. The Wainwrights Coast to Coast footpath passes the small quarry a short distance north of St Bees and the land is also part of the Colourful Coast project between Whitehaven and St Bees. The aim of the Colourful Coast project is to improve public access, enjoyment of the coastline, infrastructure improvements and awareness of the history and rich ecology. As a result of the collaboration interpretation boards have been implemented on sandstone blocks and positioned adjacent to the footpath which passes the quarry. The interpretation boards highlight the detailed local geology, mineral value and use, which includes heritage restoration on national and international developments. Onsite progressive restoration has also been undertaken, which with The National Trusts support will be of nature conservation benefit. A small part of the site will also be safely accessible for geology groups via pre-arranged visits.
As a result of the proactive collaboration between all parties Birkhams Quarry has been included as a Good Practice Case Study in a report to Natural England regarding the National Planning Policy Framework (2012) relating to:
- UKGAP Theme 2: Influencing planning policy, legislation and development design
- Indicator 4: Geodiversity gain at development sites and restored mineral sites – The total number of sites where geodiversity has been recognised within the design
The Birkhams Quarry case study will soon be added to the UK http://www.ukgap.org.uk/