Horton-in-Ribblesdale Parish Council has called a special meeting to look at plans dealing with the future operation of quarries at Helwith Bridge.

Lafarge Tarmac, which owns Arcow and Dry Rigg quarries, wants to construct a railhead at Arcow to enable some the material to be transported out of the area by rail. The company says it would avoid the sterilisation of around 1.41 million tonnes of high quality mineral which would otherwise be lost because of restricted road transport.

If approved, the railhead would be commissioned by March 2015 and would cater for no more than one train arriving and departing each weekday.

Two applications have been submitted to Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA). The first is for planning permission to construct the railhead, which would comprise a rail siding from the Settle-Carlisle Railway, a loading facility within the current stockpiling yard and a compensatory Great Crested Newt (GCN) habitat to replace one which will be lost.

The second application is to vary previous planning permission to permit rock or aggregates to be imported from Dry Rigg and to defer the total restoration of the Arcow site from June 30, 2016, to December 31 2022 to allow the railhead to continue to serve Dry Rigg until it ceases operation.

Parish councillors have decided that because of the significance of the plans and the likely level of interest, a special meeting should be held in the village hall next Wednesday at 7.30pm.