Re the comments on the last entry, here's the Midweek Visiter article about the Sandplant's closure at Marshside - more gen will appear in Friday's Southport Visiter.
Site will return to former state
SANDWINNING company William Rainford (Holdings) Ltd is set to shut its Southport plant. Staff have been informed the Marshside business will close for Ã¢ÂÂcommercial reasonsÃ¢Â? and now face redundancy.
The site in Marine Drive will continue to operate until its contracts with Pilkington Glass are complete.
The plant extracts thousands of tonnes of sand per year for use in industry, with 60,000 tonnes going to its biggest customer, Pilkington Glass.
Other uses for the sand are for roofing, concrete and construction.
Sand has been extracted on the Horse Bank site since 1966, with permission granted to extend the operation a decade later.
Due to the rare bird life on the estuary, the area was designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) in 1977 and a large number of conditions were then placed upon the company.
RainfordÃ¢ÂÂs has since spent more than ÃÂ£1.3m in surveys monitoring its impact on the environment.
But a condition of the permission was that work had to stop if it resulted in changes in the contours of the area, and in 2001, the Government ordered a public inquiry.
The company was then allowed to continue for another 10 years after the report concluded the extraction had no significant effect on the area.
However a decline in the industry means that the plant is no longer viable.
Commenting on the firmÃ¢ÂÂs decision, Councillor David Tattersall, cabinet member for the environment, said: Ã¢ÂÂThis is sad for everyone who works there and others whose jobs are linked but this is a commercial decision taken by the company.
Ã¢ÂÂThe arguments for and against sandwinning have been controversial and complex and experts are divided on the issue.
Ã¢ÂÂAt the end of the day, the fact is that our coast and shoreline is constantly changing through the forces of nature.Ã¢Â?
The site will be returned to its former state with all buildings demolished when the company finally shuts.
Ã¢ÂÂThe site will then probably be handed over to the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds to be incorporated into the neighbouring nature reserve.
The path, which extends out to sea and is used by fishermen and dog walkers, is likely to remain open, although will probably be reduced in width.
Cllr Tattersall added: Ã¢ÂÂI will work closely with council officers to make sure that the site is tidied up properly by the company and that the shrimpers are able to continue to use the track out to sea, the line of which has been used for generations.Ã¢Â?
Nobody from William Rainford (Holdings) Ltd was available for comment.