PLANS to dig up six million extra tonnes of limestone from a quarry near Thornbury have been revealed. 

A public consultation has officially been launched by owners Heidelberg Materials to extract more stone from Tytherington Quarry. 

The building materials company - which was previously known as Hanson UK - currently employs 14 full-time staff at its site. 

It currently excavates 1.5 million tonnes of stone from its site per year. 

It is believed Heidelberg will submit a full planning application to South Gloucestershire Council this spring after the consultation. 

Heidelberg previously put forward an Environmental Impact Assessment to South Gloucestershire Council in October last year. 

According to council documents, if approved, the proposal would extend the site's life by three years which would mean its closure would be expected in 8.5 years.

Existing operating hours at the site would remain unchanged. 

Heidelberg say they want to focus on the Woodleaze area of the quarry to release an additional three million tonnes. 

Meanwhile, a southern area is expected to release another three million tonnes.

Building materials have been extracted from the site for more than 100 years including carboniferous limestone, blue pennant sandstone, red sandstone and oolitic limestone. 

Gazette Series: Tytherington Quarry - photo by Doug Fowler from September 2022Tytherington Quarry - photo by Doug Fowler from September 2022 (Image: Doug Fowler)

Gazette Series: A site plan showing the two areas (in red) where 6 million tonnes of stone could be extracted from Tytherington QuarryA site plan showing the two areas (in red) where 6 million tonnes of stone could be extracted from Tytherington Quarry (Image: Heidelberg Materials)

In planning documents, Heidelberg describes Tytherington as one of its flagship sites in the country with limestone quarried there being used in major projects such as Hinkley Point C nuclear power station in Somerset and HS2. 

It is hoped materials from Tytherington will also be used in the proposed Buckover garden village in Thornbury and potentially Sizewell C nuclear power station in East Suffolk.

The historic Tytherington site first opened in 1872 and was closed from 2013 to 2017 before reopening in autumn 2018 and is connected to the Thornbury branch railway line. 

Trystan Mabbitt, development manager at Heidelberg Materials UK, said neighbours won't see much change as a result of their plans.

He said: "Limestone from Tytherington is recognised as a significant resource that is vital for the construction and maintenance of homes, schools, hospitals and roads.

"If our proposals are approved, it will allow us to make the most sustainable use of existing reserves. 

"Beyond the quarry gate our neighbours will see little change as a result of this application and, for us, it would be business as usual.

"We look forward to welcoming local people to our exhibition, answering any questions they may have and listening to feedback that can help us shape our final plans."

A drop-in public meeting is due to take place on Wednesday, March 6 between 12pm and 8pm at Tytherington village hall.