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Country News - 2004

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Lord Hanson: friend of the Dales?

Tuesday 02 November 2004

Lord Hanson, the multi-millionaire businessman who died yesterday, was a controversial figure on both sides of the Atlantic - and in the Yorkshire Dales too.

He made his huge fortune in America, often stunning American rivals with his ruthlessness in business, and one of the multi-national companies he built with his partner Lord White involved quarries producing aggregates for road building, housing and commercial developments.

In recent years, Hanson took over many of the quarries in the Dales owned by Tarmac, a move which led to controversy here because quarrying, a centuries-old industry, has come under fierce attack from environmentalists for its damage to the landscape and, in particular, the hazards caused on narrow roads by quarry wagons.

However, the Hanson group took an enlightened view to environmental considerations and put in process much screening and rehabilitation work on old workings. In particular, they increased the amount of stone being moved by train.

This endeared to company to many Dales residents - but there remains a vocal opposition group which would have all quarries in the Yorkshire Dales National Park closed down.


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