North East Wales

Roman fort plan for Hope quarry given go-ahead

Artist's impression: the project plans to reconstruct an Iron Age farm Image copyright Park in the Past
Image caption Artist's impression: the project plans to reconstruct an Iron Age farm

Plans to transform a former Flintshire quarry into a historically-themed country park with a Roman fort have been given the go-ahead.

The Fagl Lane aggregates quarry, near Hope, closed in 2004 after 40 years of operation and was purchased in 2015 by the Park in the Past community group.

It announced plans to turn it into a park with a nature reserve last year.

Flintshire councillors backed the project during a council meeting on Wednesday.

Park in the Past hope to turn the site into a recreational facility with a visitor centre, while nature trails and footpaths would surround the quarry's 35-acre (14 hectare) lake.

Other plans for the 120-acre (48.6 hectare) site include wildlife conservation areas, an Iron Age area, farmstead and village plus a new bridge across the River Alyn.

Councillor Derek Butler, the council's cabinet member with responsibility for economic development, said the development would create a major tourist attraction that would bring in visitors from a wide area.

He said that since the quarry closed there had been arson attacks, vandalism and other problems on the site.

But now there was an opportunity to transform the site and give the area a huge boost.

Earlier this year, a spokesman for Park in the Past said it wanted to "turn back the clock some 2,000 years to enable everyone in the community to follow in the footsteps of their ancestors".

The project was awarded a £20,000 Big Lottery grant to push the plans forward and consult with local people.

It hopes to secure a further £2m from the Big Lottery in April 2017.

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