Concern grows over Wigan quarry death threat

The company which owns a notorious quarry near Wigan has issued a desperate plea for people to stay away from the site.

Friday, 16th July 2021, 2:58 pm
Updated Friday, 16th July 2021, 3:14 pm
East Quarry in Appley Bridge
East Quarry in Appley Bridge

Maybrook says it is becoming increasingly alarmed about the numbers of people flocking to East Quarry in Appley Bridge when the weather is warm.

A concerning photo recently taken by Lancashire Police officers during a sunny weekend showed dozens of people trespassing at the site to sunbathe and swim.

People from across the North West gaining access to the quarry and taking a dip in the water, as well as drinking and jumping from the cliffs, has been a problem for years.

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There have been two fatalities there and incidents of people being seriously injured.

Maybrook says it has been particularly shocked by evidence that families with young children are among those breaking into the quarry on hot weekends.

The firm is in the process of applying to have the water drained from the quarry, something which has received a decidedly mixed reaction among Appley Bridge residents.

Police have been called to the quarry a number of times and Maybrook says the site of a good weather forecast at the weekend is enough to make the heart sink with worry about how popular the site will be.

A spokesperson for the firm said: “The quarry has become a local hazard and a blight on local residents and businesses due to the ongoing anti-social behaviour related issues.

“The overwhelming majority of local community desire is to put an end to these issues by removing the water.

“The site is patrolled daily by Maybrook and visited frequently by West Lancashire and Greater Manchester Police.

“The police have had mobile units stationed at the quarry, drones on the site and have also used powers under dispersal orders to prevent large gatherings.”

Maybrook says it is currently waiting for a planning application decision by Lancashire County Council on the construction of an access ramp at the site.

However, the plan to empty the water from the quarry has attracted staunch opposition from some Appley Bridge residents.

They fear removing the water will simply replace one problem at the quarry with others, with the dried-out site becoming a magnet for activities such as off-road biking.

There is also opposition to any long-term proposals involving putting inert material at the site and then applying for permission to build houses.

Maybrook, though, is applying to get the quarry drained on safety grounds.

Peter O’Dowd of Maybrook said: “Since purchasing the East Quarry site, Maybrook have at all times complied with their obligation to keep the quarry safe and secure to deter trespassers.

“Since the last fatality occurred, we believe the only way to truly achieve this is to drain the quarry.

“Maybrook are happy to discuss openly the plans for the quarry and any questions can be answered clearly.”

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