Kings Hill Parish Council were invited to Blaise Farm Quarry by the operators Gallagher Aggregates to discuss residents’ concerns regarding blasting at the site and to witness a blast and see the quarry in action.
The operators of Blaise Farm quarry work within the Kent County Council minerals approved blast monitoring scheme and always use blast designs which minimise the resulting environmental effects of blasting operations – of which ground vibration is the primary impact perceived by residents. Blaise Farm Quarry operators showed recent data demonstrating that the blasting events occur at levels of vibration significantly below the level limits imposed by the planning permission condition, and a long way below those necessary for the possible onset of the most cosmetic of damage. It was explained that relatively small changes in blast design (such as the direction of the blast) can produce noticeable differences in environmental effects and that it is very often these subtle adjustments that mean residents may notice a change.
The Approved Blast Monitoring Scheme stipulates that the ground vibration due to blasting is monitored in various set locations to ensure compliance with the vibration limit criteria. Monitoring results are submitted to Kent County Council for every blast carried out. The blast monitoring locations are selected for each blast to give a meaningful representation of the environmental impact in all directions from Blaise Farm Quarry.
Gallagher Aggregates would like to continue working with the parish council regarding public consultation and engagement, and regular meetings will be scheduled, particularly if concerns continue.
A summary of all blasts undertaken from June 2020 to the day of the Parish Councils visit is outlined below.