Airfield runway material coming in to land on Lancashire’s roads

Motorists in Lancashire could soon me driving on roads resurfaced with material from a military airfield runway.

By Brian Ellis
Tuesday, 29th March 2022, 3:45 pm

Plans have been submitted for a temporary recycling plant next to BAE Systems in Samlesbury to convert the top layer of a former airstrip for use on the local highway network.

The land is being dug up to house the Lancashire Advanced Engineering and Manufacturing Enterprise Zone, which will include the £5bn National Cyber Force headquarters.

And rather than dump the material in landfill, County Council chiefs want to recycle the coal tar from the old runway material to make a "bituminous foam" for road resurfacing.

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The Samlesbury site where the old runway could be used again to resurface roads locally.

The authority has applied to South Ribble Council to build a mixing plant to carry out the job on site over a four-month period.

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The unit will crush and screen the material and then convert it into a topping which can be used on local roads.

A report to the South Ribble planning committee says the scheme going on at the Samlesbury site is preparing the area for the development of the Enterprise Zone.

"Some of the arisings (waste materials) from this have been found to contain a proportion of coal tar,” it explains.

"Rather than removing this from the site to landfill, a more sustainable approach of remediating the material for recycling on local roads is preferred.

"The proposed temporary plant will prepare the coal tar planings and mix them to form a bituminous foam which can then be removed for immediate use in local road resurfacing.

"The application is for a temporary period of four months and will process less than 500 tonnes of material a day."

The Samlesbury Enterprise Zone is one of four being built in Lancashire to attract cutting edge industry to the county.

The others are at BAE in Warton, Hillhouse (the former ICI site in Thornton) and Blackpool Airport.

They have combined to produce "one dynamic, world class and over-arching investment destination."

Samlesbury and Warton are both aimed at advanced manufacturing and engineering, Hillhouse will focus on chemicals and polymers and the Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone will target energy industries from wind, nuclear and waste.