Shapfell Quarry

Updated Restoration Plans


Frequently asked questions

Tata Steel’s pre-application consultation closed on Tuesday 25th September 2018. Thank you for your comments. Cumbria County Council will now consult on the plans.  If you have any questions please contact us via email: or by Freephone 0808 168 8296.

Tata Steel submitted a planning application to Cumbria County Council in 2008 for further extraction and deepening of the Quarry. As part of the plans, Tata Steel is proposing to withdraw this application continue with the full restoration of the site and to return the land to the landowner in a suitably restored condition.

The existing restoration plan was approved in 2008. This plan is no longer practically achievable or environmentally preferable as it would involve draining the water and infilling of the large waterbody void.

The plan is to withdraw the existing undetermined planning application to extend the use of the quarry and submit two Section 73 applications. The Section 73 applications are required to amend conditions attached to the existing planning permissions. The applications will seek agreement for a revised restoration plan and an extension to the timescale for completing the restoration.

We aim to submit the Section 73 applications to Cumbria County Council later this year.

Approximately 37ha (91.5 acres) of the quarry has already been restored in accordance with the approved scheme. However, other parts of the site, including the main quarry void, are yet to be fully restored.

We anticipate that the full restoration of the Quarry will take approximately 18 years. However, the vast majority of the land will be restored in the next ten years.

It is proposed that the restoration will be delivered in phases. The phasing has been designed to restore the slope areas safely, avoiding winter periods where possible to respect local ecology such as wintering birds. Weekend activity will also be avoided where possible, to limit any disturbance to neighbours.

The restoration plan is included within the brochure which is available to download here. The brochure also contains information about the proposed phasing.

Over time, two sites have operated at Shapfell; the Quarry which is located to the east of the M6, and the Works site located to the west of the M6. These sites have been linked since the opening of the quarry, with quarried stone being transported from the Quarry to the Works site. Since 2009, Tata Steel has primarily imported limestone from other sources including the nearby Shap Beck Quarry and from Derbyshire. This has enabled the Works site to continue production. As part of the proposals it is intended to continue production at the Works site so there will be no loss of employment.

Following the very limited activity at the Quarry post-2009, Tata Steel has continued to develop the use of rail where possible for both imported and outgoing products. The vast majority of Tata’s product is transported by rail. All operations are expected to continue as normal. Tata Steel will continue to actively monitor and work with the local authorities to ensure this activity is kept at a safe level.

The completion of each phase will be followed by a five year aftercare period, within which the restoration process will be carefully monitored. It is also proposed to undertake an annual site walkover, attended by technical experts including the County Council’s appointed Ecologist and Geotechnical specialist. This will help to track the progress of the restoration.

Cumbria County Council will now undertake its own consultation on the plans. This will run until Wednesday 26th December 2018. You can view the planning application and supporting documents on the Council’s website here. The planning application numbers are 3/18/9004 and 3/18/9005.