Police forced to use dispersal orders at quarry

Police forced to use dispersal orders at quarry

by Tom Martin (June 2020)

WEST Lancashire police were forced to issue several dispersal orders in an area surrounding a quarry in Appley Bridge during last week’s mini heatwave.

The quarry is a magnet for people during hot weather spells when they flock to the site to swim.

However, local residents continuously experience anti-social behaviour with large groups from outside the area converging on the village.

In addition to the anti-social activities, police warn that quarry lakes, such as the one in Appley Bridge, are extremely deep, have sudden changes in water depth, are difficult to exit and conceal a range of hazards such as entangling weeds, and rocks.

West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper raised the concerns of residents with local police, West Lancashire Borough Council and the Environment Agency calling for action to resolve the situation.  

The EA  confirmed that there is an outstanding application  to ‘dewater’ the quarry, but that an ecological survey was yet to be submitted by the applicant, while the council and police are working together to discourage use of the site.  

MP Cooper said: “For many years residents have been understandably concerned about people travelling to  Appley  Bridge for the purpose of trespassing into the quarry and using it as a swimming area.  It is deeply worrying that many  refuse  to heed the advice from authorities to stay away from the quarry and not enter the dangerous water, where  young people have drowned in the past.  

“I  have again raised my concerns and that of residents with the authorities  stressing  that all that can be done needs to be done to stop the public  illegally  entering.  

“I am pleased to hear from the  police that they have increased  patrols in the area and issued fines  as a deterrence.

“The council have  confirmed to  me that  they are responsible for ensuring the landowner makes provision to ensure the fencing around the quarry is secure and timely repairs are being made,  and they  have contacted the landowner to remind him of his responsibilities.” 

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