New brick factory in Ibstock, Leicester

Frequently asked questions

How can I have my say on the proposals?

There are a number of ways for people to have their say on the proposals.

Ibstock will be holding a public information day on the 25th April 2015 to provide further information about the proposed new factory. A series of information panels will be on display with members of the project team on hand to answer any questions that you may have.

This is taking place:

Saturday 25th April 2015 from 2 pm – 7 pm at the Ibstock Head Office off Leicester Road, Ibstock LE67 6HS

exhibition-location-map

There is also a telephone line 0115 9716 805* which can be called to speak directly to members of the project team.

You can also get in touch by using our Have Your Say page on this website or by emailing s.ingram@ibstock.co.uk

*9am-4.30pm Monday to Friday (this is a manned line with voicemail).

What is involved in the planning process?

We are currently in the process of considering the proposed new factory development and the potential significance of the development. Assessing this impact is called an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and this will accompany the Planning Application.

Before submitting a planning application, Ibstock are undertaking an engagement programme on the proposal. Local residents and stakeholders will have received a newsletter providing further information. Ibstock will also be hosting a public information day where the proposals can be discussed with the project team directly.

Having received feedback and amended the application to reflect comments, Ibstock will formally submit its plans to Leicestershire County Council. This is expected to take place in May 2015.

Leicestershire County Council will then notify a range of statutory and non-statutory consultees, including local residents and site neighbours. Comments received by all interested parties will be considered. The Council’s Planning Officers will then make a recommendation to either approve (subject to a number of conditions) or refuse the proposal. The final decision will be made by elected members at the Planning Committee..

Will there be large floodlights around the site?

No. Ibstock currently operate at the site and do not use large areas of floodlighting.

During the evening time and the winter months the immediate periphery of the factory is illuminated with lights affixed to the side of the building projecting downwards to provide lighting to specific areas around the site, such as above doors.

We propose to utilise the same means of lighting around and within the new proposed factory. We will install lighting above the roller shutter doors which will illuminate as and when the door is opened so to minimise the ‘on time’ and save energy.

The building has been designed and positioned so that there is a minimum of doors on the northern side of the building nearest residential properties, meaning there will not be a requirement for any large lights in that area, except for low level walkway lighting.

We will provide illuminated safe walkway areas between the existing factories and the new factory, however these walk ways will be on the south side of the building and therefore naturally screened from the residences to the north.

Brick lorries and forklift trucks operating on the stock yard areas will be fitted with lights so as to illuminate work areas. We have however designed the stockyard to be at a lower level situated behind a new earth landform which will also be planted with trees.

Taken together the landform and trees will provide an effective screen to reduce the potential for light impact from moving equipment.

What are the proposed operating hours?

Hours of operation will be the same as those currently adopted for the existing brick factories at the site. The brick making process is a 24 hour operation and as such the operational activity within the current buildings is not subject to any limitation of operating hours.

Bricks are transported off site from the brickworks between the hours of 0600 and 1700 although this is not restricted.

The offices and laboratory working hours are generally between 0830 and 1700.

Ibstock do not proposed any changes to the operational times described above as a result of the Proposed Development.

Could the new site cause pollution?

The Company adhere to a range of measures for the prevention of pollution from the existing Brick factories and associated operations. The majority of these are set out in the PPC permit issued and regulated by NWLDC.

Measures include:

  • monitoring of point source emissions to air;
  • management measures for minimising fugitive emissions to air;
  • monitoring of emissions to water;
  • management measures for the storage of raw materials and to prevent spillages; and
  • management measures for abnormal operation conditions or in case of accidents.

Whilst it is likely that the proposed new factory development will require a review of these measures, Ibstock do not propose to alter the method of working so as to remove or reduce any of the measures currently adopted to minimise, and where possible, prevent pollution. The existing measures are considered to be effective and fit for purpose.

Ibstock also subscribe to a number of Environmental Standards which strive to maximise the efficiency of all resources, minimising the use wherever possible whilst setting targets to further improve. The Environmental Management System (EMS) guides this whilst also setting processes and procedures for emergency preparedness and response.

Will I be at risk of flooding?

No. Surface water run-off from the new buildings and stockyards will be managed in accordance with sustainable drainage principles wherever feasible.

The existing brick factories on the Ibstock site all drain either directly or via a series of pools and the fishing lake to the Ibstock Brook. The Ibstock Brook receives water from a large upstream catchment and the brook itself is located on the boundary of the Ibstock quarry.

The brook has, for many years, been in a culvert passing beneath the brickworks and former colliery site. The culvert ends in the south western corner of Ibstock land area where a short section of open channel is visible prior to the brook again passing into a culvert beneath Spring Lane.

Surface water from the new factory site will drain away towards the boundary areas. Water will drain to utilise existing ditches and depressions in the ground which will be modified to allow the retention of water in heavy rainfall periods and then the gradual release of water afterwards. This water will then flow through the existing large fishing lake on the site in the south western corner.

By ensuring that all water from the new development areas are all subject to ‘attenuation’ during heavy periods of rain, it will mean a no net increase in the overall volume of water leaving the site at the point of discharge at the top of Spring Road. This discharge is maintained with a headwall and restriction bars to prevent objects entering the existing culvert under Spring Road.

The details associated with all water management will be subject of detailed discussion with the Environment Agency.

Is any landscaping proposed?

Yes. As part of the advance planting which will take place over the first planting season woodland blocks will be planted to the north and north west of the site, together with planting south of our offices area. On completion of the perimeter bund construction we will add further woodland planting, together with a new hedge.

As part of the development proposals, we are striving to achieve additional landscape screening and at the same time to plant woodland areas to form part of the overall National Forest.

Will I be able to see the new factory?

The southern boundary of the existing site is screened by dense woodland that was planted by Ibstock many years ago as part of the restoration of the ‘south quarry’ in the late 90’s. This has now matured to form a significant screen of the existing factories meaning they cannot be seen from Pretoria Road to the south.

Leicester---Aug-97-1997 Factory-from-South-west-above-factory-2002 View-from-South-West-above-factory-2010

In addition, woodland planting belts around the western and northern boundaries provide a good screen of the existing factories. We identified at an early stage that improvements could however be included in the proposed new factory development to increase the level of screening from the north to reduce the visual impact of activities within the site.

Screening the site has been at the heart of the design of the new factory and stockyards. This will comprise advance landscaping planted along the northern boundary bordering Leicester Road. This will be planted adjacent to and within the existing northern boundary planting to strengthen the existing woodland.

In addition, on the northern and western boundary, facing the majority of residential properties, it is proposed to construct a screening landform to be built using on site materials and soils stripped from the site. The landform will be grass seeded to blend into existing slopes.

In addition to the advance tree planting, we will plant further hedge species and additional woodland blocks on the new soil landform to further assist in reducing the visual impact of the proposals. Taken together, the landscaping to be undertaken and the landform will minimise the visual impact of operations and will also provide good noise screening.

As part of our Environmental Impact Assesssment the potential visibility of the proposed factory is being assessed in detail. This will be tested using a three dimensional computer generated model of the workings and surrounding area to assess the degree of visibility.

Will it mean more traffic?

Access to the brickworks is via Leicester Road and this access is used to export bricks and receive deliveries of raw materials. The access also serves the; offices, laboratory and the Forticrete (Cebastone) factory.

There are no limitations currently imposed on the site relating to HGV routeing, or export volumes. On average around 47 lorries per day leave the site loaded with bricks, in addition to which we have deliveries to the site amounting to around 15 vehicles per day.

It is proposed that the existing access will also be utilised by vehicles associated with the construction phase associated with all the building work.

Once operational the proposed new factory development will roughly double the current vehicle movements associated with the existing factories i.e. on average an additional 47 brick dispatches per day and an additional 15 deliveries.

The Proposed Development includes the provision of a new car park which will be required as a result of the additional jobs created. We have conducted a travel survey of all existing employees to understand further the travel characteristics at the site. Where possible we will look towards a travel plan to help both existing and future employees consider alternative methods of travel to work.

The existing access will however continue to be suitable to serve the existing and future activities at the site.

Will I constantly be disturbed by reversing bleepers?

As part of many developments reversing beepers are used because they are widely recognised by all people as a warning of a large vehicle reversing. In all instances we want to ensure that the correct audible warning is given to keep people safe.

Where possible we will ensure that reversing is minimized during the construction phase and so avoiding the risk of reversing activities and the need for any alarms.

For vehicles directly under the control of Ibstock which could have the potential to disturb persons external to the site, we have used different types of audible warning devices. White Noise devices are a good alternative and these are considered to be less intrusive. We will utilise these as necessary.

Will it be noisy?

We are confident that the proposed new brick factory will operate within the confines of noise limits imposed through legislation and the planning process.

Ibstock are conducting an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) to assess the likely significance of any impacts arising through the proposals for the new brick factory. The findings of the EIA will be presented in an Environmental Statement which will accompany the planning application. This work is being undertaken by specialist consultants.

As part of this work, a detailed noise assessment is being undertaken. This has included noise monitoring at nearby properties to assess background noise levels. The background noise recordings were complete 24 hours per day over 10 days. This data is used to assess the likely impact of any additional noise associated with the proposed new brick factory. The significance of this impact is then assessed against published standards and guidance.

As part of the development proposals we have included a landform on the boundary of the site facing the main residential areas. This will not only act as a visual screen but also a noise barrier. The brick stockyard will be significantly lower than the top of the landform meaning vehicles moving on the stockyard will be acoustically screened by the large mound.

The new factory is located in our site with the noisiest aspects of the manufacturing process the furthest possible distance away from any residence. Those parts of the factory located in closer proximity to the housing will contain limited moving plant and equipment. A perimeter access road is provided around the northern side of the building, however this will be a service road only and will not be a main thoroughfare.

Why have you chosen to increase brick output at the existing site rather than consider alternative sites?

Clay extraction for brick making has been taking place at the Ibstock site for nearly 200 years, with the forerunner to the present factory being associated with the historical colliery activities.

The buildings have progressively been built-up and added too, notably the major development in 1994 involving the erection of a new kiln shed and associated development. Vast modifications and investment is carried out on plant and machinery inside the factory. It is necessary to continually modify and update plant and machinery in order to ensure that the factory can continue to produce bricks efficiently.

The proposed development comprising the new brick factory does not replace any of the existing buildings. The development will use the existing access, regarding which detailed transport assessments have been undertaken.

By building an additional factory in the existing site we will be able to utilise the established infrastructure, excellent links to the distribution network and minimise the transportation of clay by road through the utilisation of the significant clay reserves on our site.

For all of the above reasons the Ibstock site is a unique opportunity to provide for the long term manufacture of bricks to meet the demand for housing, whilst using the significant clay reserves located immediately adjacent. It will also be a natural progression in the heritage of brick making at the site which extends over hundreds of years.

We have considered alternative options for elements of the development within the site, including the position and level of the new factory and stockyard. Details of all the alternatives will be specifically included in the Environmental Impact Assessment which will accompany the planning application when submitted to Leicestershire County Council.

Why do you need another brick factory at this site?

Demand for bricks

The Office for National statistics (ONS) recorded a decline of around 40% in the production of bricks in GB in recent years (from 2.47bn in 2007 to 1.46bn in 2012 and a similar decline in stocks (from around 1.1bn in 2008 to 0.515bn in 2012).

The Brick Development Association (BDA) considers that recent Government initiatives, namely the ‘Help to Buy’ scheme and the ‘Get Britain Building Campaign’ have contributed to the recovery in new house starts.

Imported bricks

In recent years there has been a significant increase in the number of bricks imported to the UK, in part, as a result of plant closures implemented by UK manufacturers during the economic recession and inability to supply bricks from the UK to meet our own demand.

Graph-1

It is estimated that around 400 million bricks per annum are currently being imported to the UK.

The new and additional brick factory would increase the brick the overall manufacturing capability on the site from 90 million to 190 million bricks per annum. By leading the market and investing in this additional brick manufacturing capacity, Ibstock hopes to reduce the UK reliance on imported bricks, promoting UK trade and additional employment.

What currently happens at the Ibstock site?

Ibstock Brick is the owner and operator of Ibstock site and the adjoining quarry.

Brick making has taken place on the site as far back as 1830 and at that time was intrinsically linked to the coal mining activities in the area. Some of the buildings on site today can be traced back to the early 19th Century but have been added to and modified to meet the changing demand for brick production. In 1994 Ibstock invested considerable money in the erection of buildings to house a new kiln and manufacturing equipment.

Today Ibstock has two separate brick factories are on the site which are housed in a complex of buildings. These factories boast an impressive employment record constituting long-standing employees. Currently 134 people are directly employed in the existing factories at the site with a mixture of different skills, age and experience. Not all persons are on site at any one time due to shift patterns. The factories operate on a 4 day on and 4 day off rotation with Night Shift manufacturing employees and engineering staff also on site.

Within the existing two brick factories clay is initially ground form smaller particle sizes before being mixed with water to create a soft consistency. It is then used to form brick shapes in a ‘soft mud’ process. Once the bricks are ‘formed’ they are dried in large ‘dryers’ using recycled heat from the kiln.

Once the bricks are dry and much of the water has evapourated from the brick body, the bricks are transported through a large kiln, called a ‘tunnel kiln’. This makes the bricks hard and durable. After firing the bricks are packed and placed on the stockyard ready for sale.

The existing factories make around 90 million bricks per year which is equivalent to around 13,000 new homes.

In addition to the factories the Ibstock site has around 130 support services staff based in the Head Office buildings. This is the Headquarters for the Ibstock Group of Companies. The support services departments include; sales and marketing, CAD design services, computer and networking technicians, accounts, human resources, Estates and a laboratory.

In addition to the existing brick factories the site is also base for a concrete products factory, operated by Forticrete Limited which is a member of the Ibstock Group of Companies. Forticrete employ around 45 people at the concrete products factory.

What are the benefits of the application?

The new Leicester factory provides substantial benefits linked with the creation of inward investment into Leicestershire and the UK, all associated with the construction of probably the most modern brick factory in the world.

  • The increased brick manufacturing capacity required to help support the recovery in the building sector and to reduce dependency on imported bricks, thereby benefitting the local, regional and national economies, including improving the country’s balance of payments
  • The new factory in Ibstock will provide enough bricks alone to build 15,000 new homes per annum and coupled with the existing output, the site will provide enough bricks for around 28,000 new homes per annum
  • Investment to be made during the construction phase, in new buildings, stockyards plus plant and machinery, will be of substantial benefit to the local economy.
  • Long term stable employment for over 340 people maintained at Ibstock Building Products Group Companies in Ibstock and Ellistown, with 50 new full time jobs coming from the new Ibstock factory alone.
  • Revenue spend in the local and wider economy through employment and numerous services both purchased and rendered to be increased from c.£12 million per annum to c.£15.5 million per annum.
  • Business rates paid to North West Leicestershire District Council to be increased above current £320,000 per annum to a figure in excess of £500,000 per annum.
  • An ability to build within the boundary of the existing Ibstock site, representing an ideal and unique opportunity
  • Sustainable utilisation of nationally important clay reserves from the on-site quarry
  • A location in the centre of the UK, ideally placed to reach most UK markets
  • Maintenance of significant tracts of land around the boundary of the site as Local Nature Reserves/Local Wildlife Sites, enhanced as part of developing screening landforms and plantations
  • A site development plan entirely compatible with the creation and enhancement of the National Forest.

What is being proposed?

Ibstock are proposing to increase production of bricks at the Ibstock site by building a new and additional Brickfactory. This new factory would increase brick production from around 90 million bricks per annum to 190 million bricks per annum.

The new factory would be located within the Ibstock site on previously developed land. The existing brick factories and support services departments employ nearly 270 people and this new proposed development would generate a further 50 permanent full time jobs.

Continuing investment and development of our brick factories is essential to ensure we are well placed to meet house building demands both locally and nationally. The Ibstock site is uniquely positioned strategically in the UK on good arterial road links. Reserves of clay at the site within the existing consented areas and adjoining land mean clay will continue to be extracted locally and will not require importation by road.

plan-and-model

The new Leicester factory would continue to support UK house building and replace some 100 million bricks per year which are transported into the UK from continental Europe and further afield.

Where is the site?

The existing Ibstock factories and the associated quarry are located to the immediate north east of Ibstock and to the west of Ellistown and approximately 1.5km south of Coalville.

The site is bounded to the north by Leicester Road and to the south by Pretoria Road. The western part of the site is bounded by the village of Ibstock. Access to the brickworks is from Leicester Road. Around the site is the dense woodland screening planted by Ibstock many years ago.

As part of the proposed new factory development we plan to again complete further woodland planting.

Figure-1---Site-Location-Plan Factory-Close Leic-P7-150310-Final-Modified-General-Arrangement-Plan--(Co-Ordinate-mods)-10-03-2015