Planning Approvals Granted for Slate Quarrying

November 6, 2014

The Department of Planning advised today [Nov 6] that planning approvals for slate quarrying have now been granted for four sites in Bermuda and quarrying can begin immediately.

Those sites are: Rocky Heights Quarry off Lolly’s Well Road, Smiths; 15 Farmer’s Lane, Warwick;126 Harrington Sound Road, Smiths; and 3 Farm Lane, Hamilton.

A look at some of the roof damage after Hurricane Gonzalo:

The statement from the Ministry said, “This follows yesterday’s announcement by the Minister of Home Affairs Sen. The Hon. Michael Fahy JP to waive the advertisement period [for thirty days only] for planning applications involving proposals for quarrying operations. This has cut the processing period down from five to six weeks to only two days.

“Approval for quarrying operations has been granted for three months only upon which time an extension may be applied for provided that there is a demonstrated need for slate.”

Sheet seen hanging in the Loyal Hill, Devonshire area:

OBA-We-need-slate-for-goodness-sake-1

“I would once again like to thank those persons who have heard our call to operate private quarries in light of Fay and Gonzalo,” said Minister Fahy.

“It is this Government’s priority to ensure that no one is left without a roof over their head as a result of the recent storms, which is why we have taken the steps we have this week to expedite the slate quarrying process.

“I would also like to thank the technical officers at the Department of Planning who have worked tirelessly to quickly and diligently approve these applications – some in only a matter of hours.”

The full statement from the Ministry is below:

The Department of Planning can today advise that planning approvals for slate quarrying have now been granted for four sites in Bermuda and quarrying can begin immediately.

Those sites are: Rocky Heights Quarry off Lolly’s Well Road, Smiths; 15 Farmer’s Lane, Warwick;126 Harrington Sound Road, Smiths; and 3 Farm Lane, Hamilton.

This follows yesterday’s announcement by the Minister of Home Affairs Sen. The Hon. Michael Fahy JP to waive the advertisement period [for thirty days only] for planning applications involving proposals for quarrying operations. This has cut the processing period down from five to six weeks to only two days.

Approval for quarrying operations has been granted for three months only upon which time an extension may be applied for provided that there is a demonstrated need for slate. Such extensions will require a new application. The consent granted is for planning permission only. An application for a Building Permit must be submitted within seven days of the commencement of quarrying operations on the site.

There are several conditions which must be met by each quarrying operation – conditions from the Department of Planning as well as separate conditions from the Department of Environmental Protection regarding the use of a slate-cutter. For example, the Department of Planning requires that the approved quarrying take place only between the hours of 7am and 5pm Monday through Saturday [no Sundays or Public Holidays].

Additionally, no material can be brought to the site to be processed and the quarrying operation is restricted to the area on the site as defined on approved plans. The approved quarrying operation must cease when the stocks of material extracted from the application site have been depleted. Finally, a construction permit and operating license for the controlled plant [slate-cutter] must be obtained from the Department of Environmental Protection and submitted with the Building Permit application.

The Department of Environmental Protection’s Operating Conditions placed on the use of a slate cutter include the following:

1. The operation shall be conducted in such a manner that exhaust emissions do not adversely impact nearby residents or the ventilation of buildings, including windows and air intake points or vents.

2. The operation shall be conducted and the equipment maintained in such a manner to produce the minimum amount of noise and vibration and consistent with good operating and maintenance practice.

3. The Licensee shall not cause or allow the emissions of dust from any operation, open storage pile, or disturbed surface area to be visible in the atmosphere beyond the boundaries of the premises upon which the emission source is located. If it appears that this may occur, all operations shall be ceased until such time as the sources of fugitive dust are thoroughly suppressed.

4. The facility in general shall be managed to minimise storm-water contact with silt and dust, and to prevent sediment-laden storm-water from discharging from the site.

5. An application for renewal shall be submitted to the Environmental Authority no less than one month prior to the date of expiration to ensure continued operations.

6. The stone cutting operation shall not be undertaken at a site other than the one for which permission has been granted without the prior written approval of the Environmental Authority.

7. The Licensee shall obtain prior written approval from the Environmental Authority for any replacement of or alteration to the Controlled Plant.

8. The Licensee shall affix and maintain any identification stickers provided by the Department of Environmental Protection in a prominent location on the Controlled Plant.

9. When the plant is to be decommissioned, a closure plan shall be submitted in advance to the Department of Environmental Protection for their approval. This closure plan shall detail the proposed time frame and steps that will be taken to ensure that the site poses no threat to health, safety, or the environment.

“I would once again like to thank those persons who have heard our call to operate private quarries in light of Fay and Gonzalo,” said Minister Fahy. “It is this Government’s priority to ensure that no one is left without a roof over their head as a result of the recent storms, which is why we have taken the steps we have this week to expedite the slate quarrying process.

“I would also like to thank the technical officers at the Department of Planning who have worked tirelessly to quickly and diligently approve these applications – some in only a matter of hours.”

If any members of the public have questions, they can call the Department of Planning at 297-7756.

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Comments (28)

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  1. SMH says:

    Thank Min. Faye, your cool heads prevails as always. Calm and logic always prevails over unnecessary political drama

    • Yes sir’e, Minister Michael Faye is a smooth operator :-) Thanks once again for “staying the course.”

      • Wondering says:

        Why not use DURASLATE? Is that not around anymore? Lots were used after Fabian!

    • Kunta says:

      About F!@#ing time.
      Ya he has a cool head very charismatic, most times those are de DECEITFUL ones.
      PEOPLE POWER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • OBA Muppets r Everywhere! says:

      A full 3 weeks after the storms, 2 days after refusing to “break the law” now we see a complete switch and you say cool heads.

      It was necessary political pressure that made this happen! The “drama” was caused by the OBA being hard headed, and the sign speaks for itself!

      I’m guessing you had slate on your roof!

      • Common Sense says:

        What absolute and complete rubbish. The Government has done everything possible to speed up the process of granting licences for the opening of slate quarries without just giving carte blanche without any consideration for safety etc. Far from being an “OBA Muppet” whatever that silly phrase is suppoed to imply, I would be the first to criticise this Government if they dragged their heels on this issue, and I would venture to say that a PLP Government would probably have done exactly what Minister Fay has done.

        Incidentally, I drive along North Shore Road almost every day and that sign has been up for 2 maybe 3 days at most. Perhaps the artist can replace it with another one. Suggested wording – “Thank you Government for keeping your word”

      • Build a Better Bermuda says:

        Where has the law been broken, they promised to fast track applications, in only the last week 4 applications have been submitted and now approved. This wan’t breaking the law, it was adapting an existing departmental procedure to meet the urgent need. Two questions that need to be asked are; why did the government wait til last week to do this, and why hasn’t more quarries submitted applications?

      • Double Standards says:

        You can’t expedite an application until an application has been made.

        Four made this week and four issued this week.

        Or did you want the Govt to force private land owners to quarry their own land?

    • frank says:

      it was not drama it showed that the minister and the oba once again did not care about us this was a national emergency and they gave us a lot of ministerial bs as always

  2. Longtail says:

    Having dealt with Planning applications for one of these quarries in the past I can well imagine that the neighbours will NOT be pleased…. but a little personal inconvenience is a small price to pay to get slate to those who need it. Thank you Minister Fahy and also the Technical Officers who have made this happen!

  3. Jim Bean says:

    Calm and logic prevail…exactly

  4. Rockfish#1and #2 says:

    Hopefully the NIMBY people will show some understanding.

  5. Jo Blo says:

    I think Fahy took the correct approach informing the public of the necessity for a structured approach to handling stuff like this. Good points re potential for striking water tables and contaminating roof supplied water with dust etc in the absence of Planning involvement…

  6. mixitup says:

    What I don’t understand is how were Bus Shelters being re-slated long before homes….. FAHHEEEE?!!

    • filobedo21 says:

      MIXUP .. Slating a bus shelter is right a proper, the workers at W&E have to get on with earning their pay. The amount of slate for a few bus shelters is minimal. It has already been stated somewhere else that Government’s stock pile of slate was ruined and trashed earlier in the year… so obviously there was no stock for the general public to purchase from Government such as occurred during Hurricanes Emily Fabian. It’s a mystery to me as to why the stone cutters were not proactive by applying for permits at least a week or two before the storm, after all there would have been some roofs damaged. Perhaps the next time around the will be proactive.

    • serengeti says:

      But if those W&E workers had been working on private houses you’d have been screaming about that too.

    • Toodle-oo says:

      I really think there is some disconnect with your brain wiring , could it have something to do with your political partialities ?

      The bus shelters are government property. They were repaired by government employees using government owned slate that was stockpiled in the government quarry .

      Private homeowners have to look after their OWN property using their own private contractors and supplies.

      Did that help you at all ?

  7. Slate seller says:

    Let’s hope the price of slate stays at pre hurricane prices!

  8. Alvin Williams says:

    Political pressure from the people which is what force this anti-Bermudian government to turn away from it’s usual course which does not have Bermudian interests at heart. Now that we have shown how to do it; let’s crush their political ambitions for the bye-election in constituency 23.

    • Ringmaster says:

      Since the quarries are privately owned by Bermudians, is Government supposed to order the owners to cut slate?

      If Zane DeSilva really cared he would have had his people down at his quarry cutting slate and giving it away, or at least at cost. As owner of a large construction company why doesn’t he maintain a stock of slate? Instead of being part of the solution he’s looking for publicity and tries to score cheap political points at the expense of people’s suffering.

      By the way, why is Constituency 23 having a bye-election?

      • LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL says:

        Zane doesn’t own a quarry my firend. What you are talking about is actually not a quarry.

    • inna says:

      *33

    • serengeti says:

      Having trouble with numbers today Alvin?

    • Common Sense says:

      I guess Alvin is in the camp that truly believes if you tell a lie often enough people might begin to believe it. Like it or not our economy was in a complete shambles when the PLP left office and the OBA Government has the unenviable task of trying to get it going again so we Bermudians can get back to work. Unless Alvin has some magic answer to improving our economy (one the PLP Government failed to do) then the best way to get people back to work is to encourage the growth of international business , which took a severe battering under the former Government.

      Alvin, will of course say that bringing more international business to Bermuda “does not have Bermudian interests at heart” but that is complete nonsense. If we can encourage new businesses to Bermuda we will see a revival of the construction industry, we will see more taxes being paid into our system to support the civil service, and we will see more demand for all of the services required by those who are employed in international business, including the many Bermudians who were previously employed in it or because of it – and that list is endless.

      Tragically it is the attitude of those like Alvin who could well crush any hope we have of growing our economy and getting people back to work.

  9. frank says:

    Alvin it is constituency 33

  10. Alvin, It’s constituency 33.

  11. haha says:

    THIS:

    “If Zane DeSilva really cared he would have had his people down at his quarry cutting slate and giving it away, or at least at cost. As owner of a large construction company why doesn’t he maintain a stock of slate? Instead of being part of the solution he’s looking for publicity and tries to score cheap political points at the expense of people’s suffering.”