The family-owned company, which has been extracting sand from Les Mielles since the turn of the 19th century, has applied for what will be its last operational licence, as it has agreed to cease working in 2018.Jim Simon said that as well as the hefty cost of new machinery and buildings to be phased in over the period of the licence, preparing the application had cost the firm more than £200,000.
Half of that amount paid for a compulsory environmental impact assessment, carried out by Island Plan consultants W S Atkins.At the end of the day, Mr Simon said, these costs would have to be passed on to customers.
However, he added, there would be benefits for Les Mielles and St Ouen Bay residents.’We’re trying to make things more environmentally friendly by putting in a power pack to run the equipment electrically,’ he explained.
‘This will make things much quieter than the existing dredging engines.
And it will make it more environmentally friendly, because there won’t be any diesel fumes, and safer, as it will reduce the risk of pollution from fuel and oils and that sort of thing.’Simon Sand have been preparing for many years for the day when the quarry will close.
The agreement was drawn up as part of the Island’s Mineral Strategy, which seeks to end all mineral extraction in the Island in favour of importing building aggregates through a new berth at La Collette.Although the strategy was lodged for debate two years ago, it was deferred pending a report on waterfront traffic which has now been completed by Public Services.
Nonetheless, Simon’s application can be considered as many of the strategy’s aspects have been implemented in the 2002 Island Plan.Mr Simon said that the company was continuing to work with the Environment Department in their restoration programme for the site.
They had also kept all relevant parties informed on their activities, including the Société Jersiaise and the National Trust for Jersey, to enable them to comment on the application.As part of the restoration programme, Mr Simon has for some years organised guided tours of the quarry and he hopes to make parts of the site more accessible to the public.What will happen to the quarry after 2018 has yet to be decided.