Chilton quarry plan suffers setback

CONTROVERSIAL plans to dig a massive quarry in the heart of the Suffolk countryside have suffered a major setback.Babergh district councillors unanimously agreed yesterday to object to plans to excavate one million tonnes of sand and gravel from the site near Sudbury - despite being initially urged to give their endorsement.

CONTROVERSIAL plans to dig a massive quarry in the heart of the Suffolk countryside have suffered a major setback.

Babergh district councillors unanimously agreed yesterday to object to plans to excavate one million tonnes of sand and gravel from the site near Sudbury - despite being initially urged to give their endorsement.

It will now be up to Suffolk County Council to make a final decision.

Members of Babergh council went against their own officers' recommendations after hearing widespread concerns from police, community leaders and local residents over the plan for Chilton.


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Colin Spence, whose ward covers the site, said: “I am absolutely thrilled that common sense has prevailed. Enough is enough - residents have always objected to this application and I think councillors got this message loud and clear.”

Speaking at the meeting, Chilton Parish Council chairman Peter Clifford said: “There are many reasons to object to this application, but the introduction of 121 slow-moving HGV vehicles a day at one of the most dangerous stretches of road in the immediate Sudbury area must be one of the most serious.”

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Before yesterday's development committee meeting, Insp Tris Pepper of Sudbury police warned the plans would lead to an increase in serious road crashes on the A134 - an accident blackspot which had seen six major accidents in 15 months.

The plans to excavate one million tonnes of sand and gravel over a 10 year period from 39 hectares of land near Valley Road, Chilton, were first identified in the Suffolk Minerals Local Plan in 1999.

Despite yesterday's setback, Mike Courts, general manager for applicants Brett Aggregates, said he was confident that Suffolk County Council would come to a different view when it makes the final decision later this year.

Mr Courts said: “Babergh's own local plan proposes schools, roads and hospitals - how do they expect to deliver this? The raw materials have to come from somewhere.”

Richard Watson, Babergh's chief planning control officer, said: “The decision was made based on the effect on residential amenities by such things as noise, dust and the increase of traffic and road safety issues.”

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