Residents in a Suffolk newbuild estate are concerned that plans to extend a sand quarry within metres of their homes will pose a threat to public health.

A resident on the 150-strong Crest Nicholson estate in Elmswell, near Stowmarket, has slammed the controversial expansion plans and claims the developer hid them from residents looking to move in.

Research suggests quarries release invisible dust particles that cause silicosis, a progressive, incurable lung disease, and long-term exposure to also linked to heart disease, stroke, infertility, and pregnancy complications.

The plans were first approved by Suffolk County Council in 2009, with a planning application that included a proposed expansion to Aggmax Transport's Lawn Farm Quarry.

The newest application, submitted in December, seeks to extend the site for the extraction, processing, sale and distribution of sand and gravel.

The resident, who wishes to remain anonymous, said: “We had absolutely no idea when we moved in two years ago.

"We could see the quarry from the distance, and when we asked Crest Nicholson about the quarry we were told there were no plans on an extension.

East Anglian Daily Times: Health risks are assocaited with invisible silica particles from quarries.Health risks are assocaited with invisible silica particles from quarries. (Image: Contributed)

“There is extensive research into the health implications of sand quarries. They release silica particles, which cause health conditions such as COPD, lung disease, asthma.

“I have a one-year-old. If I had been made aware of this in the first place, I would not have had him exposed to this.”

She added that she had paid for a family home, and it is now not worth the price they paid for it: “We are stuck in a catch-22. Who is going to move here knowingly? If the application is approved, the quarry will come within 82 metres of our house.

“The current security at the site is dire. You can just walk onto the quarry currently, and it’s petrifying that it will be within 80 metres of a residential area where children live and could potentially walk onto it.”

Crest Nicholson, Suffolk County Council and Aggmax Transport Limited were all contacted for comment, but none were received.