Controversial plans for a new entrance to the Hartham Park Mine in Corsham have been approved.

The replacement planning application, submitted in August last year, would see an inclined mined entrance and, controversially, the construction of above ground facilities, including a cutting shed/workshop.

At last week’s Strategic Planning Meeting, councillor’s cast 10 votes for and one against to approve the new plans for the Corsham site.

The mines, which have been used to quarry bath stone since the 18th century and this is the first time that stone cutting would take place above ground.

Lucy Gingell of No Notion Cottage, was one of many residents concerned about the consequences of the newly proposed above ground cutting shed.

She said: “The noise, dust from the above ground cutting of stone that this proposed application will bring to the area is not needed.

“Noise travels and it’s a working day from 6am to 5pm Mondays to Fridays and Saturday mornings as well.

“As is the extra pollution from HGV lorries pulling in and out of the site as well as the working machinery this application will bring to the area is unacceptable.”

At the meeting, Cllr Sarah Gibson echoed these worries: “The stone cutting above ground does worry me enormously.

“We are basically leaving it to the residents to constantly complain, once this is up and going, about the noise and I wonder whether if do approve it if we restrict the stone cutting hours to something far more reasonable.”

Councillors chose to amend the acceptable working hours, so the above ground stone cutting could only start at 8am, rather the originally proposed 7am.

Cllr Tony Trotman said: “I would be quite happy with that and it would mitigate some of the issues that the residents are concerned about.”

Matthew Hawker, director of mining said that the decision sent a positive message in difficult times.

He added: “We are delighted that the planning committee saw fit to approve this application.

"We believed from the outset that moving the entrance would be beneficial in how the mine can be worked as well as further distancing the site from our neighbours.

"Our team will be carefully putting together the plan for the next stage and we will be updating the local residents in due course.”

The plans would have originally been discussed on March 27, however, the committee meeting was delayed due to the outbreak of the coronavirus.