Park in the Past (WLS) purchased quarry

Park in The Past Community Interest Company is delighted to be able to formally announce that we have now completed the purchase of the former quarry at Fagl Lane in Hope, Flintshire.
The site will need to remain closed to the general public for the present, as we carry out the work necessary to make the venue safe and accessible for visitors. There is a great deal of work to do, much of which will require planning consent in order to provide an economically sustainable community facility.
Director Paul Harston said “This is the start of a new chapter for Fagl Lane Quarry, which we plan to turn into a community asset, a place for opportunity, social inclusion, education, sport and leisure.
“It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster ride over the last few months as we’ve waited with bated breath for all the legal formalities to line up to enable us to acquire the site. We are tremendously grateful to everyone who has worked so hard to make this happen, particularly our solicitor, David Parry of Allington Hughes Law in Wrexham, for his patience and tenacity.
“We are about a year behind where we thought we would be by now, so it will take us a short while to build up steam again and begin to move forwards once more. Over the coming months and years, we want to create a unique combination of nature reserve, historical park, and sports venue. Highlights of our vision include a Roman Fort and Iron Age Farmstead, with traditionally managed farmland and woodlands. Against this background we would like to provide a range of outdoor sports activities, all of which will be carefully zoned and managed to create and conserve an extensive range of wildlife habitats, enhancing local biodiversity. This is a huge undertaking. Don’t expect things to happen overnight, but with continued local community support, we will get there.
“There have been lots of rumours and speculation about what we are going to do, both positive and negative. We have, and continue to explore various options and scenarios, which require us to go out and talk to other businesses and organisations to seek ‘expressions of interest’. Ultimately, these may or may not be suitable for inclusion in our plans. I would like to reassure everyone that we are very mindful and respectful of the existing planning restrictions and the post quarrying use envisaged by the planners who originally gave consent for the quarrying.”
Director Robin Brown added “We have already spent a considerable amount of time and money on wildlife surveys and ecological consultancy to a level of detail well in excess of statutory planning requirements in order to understand how to get the balance between preservation and development right.
“Let me be clear: Leaving things alone isn’t an option. There are significant problems that need to be sorted out, or the site will continue to lose its biodiversity at an increasing rate. This work will take time and money – money which will have to be sustainably generated by the site itself. Unfortunately the days when grant funders had bottomless purses to fund conservation for its own sake are long gone, and so we want to lead the way in looking at alternative approaches to this new reality. We want to successfully strike a balance between conservation and financial sustainability by continuing to work in partnership with experts to deliver wildlife benefits alongside long term economic benefits for the community.”
Over the coming weeks, the team at Park in The Past will be fine tuning our business plan and preparing a planning application for submission to Flintshire County Council which, if approved, will enable us to begin to create the Park in The Past.