MP outlines opposition to quarry

A MP has criticised controversial plans for a sand and gravel quarry, claiming it would cause an “unacceptable level of industrialisation” in a Suffolk village.

Dave Gooderham

A MP has criticised controversial plans for a sand and gravel quarry, claiming it would cause an “unacceptable level of industrialisation” in a Suffolk village.

Hundreds of residents living in rural areas could face 10 years of dust and noise, increased traffic on local roads and loss of amenities if the quarry in Chilton, near Sudbury, is given the go-ahead, it was warned last night.

And with an estimated 20,000 lorries a year using the site, South Suffolk MP Tim Yeo said the potential for further problems would be immense.

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Mr Yeo has now written to both Babergh District Council and Suffolk County Council outlining his concerns over the planned quarry.

Brett Aggregates, the applicant, has launched a two-pronged attack in a bid to press ahead with the proposals - appealing against a county council decision to reject the original plans and submitting a fresh bid with a roundabout to ease traffic concerns.

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But an unconvinced Mr Yeo said: “It is quite clear from all the available evidence that this would be a wholly inappropriate site for quarrying.

“This would amount to an unacceptable level of industrialisation of this semi-rural location.

“In addition to the loss of amenity, dust and noise will be generated that will detriment not just Chilton itself, but also Great Waldingfield and Acton and the wider area for a minimum of 10 years.

“The currently projected 20,228 new heavy vehicle movements (a year) that would be generated to and from the site - all of it via the notoriously dangerous A134 - will put an unacceptable burden on the local road network in terms of excess traffic and reduced road safety.”

The MP has also written to the Planning Inspectorate asking to speak at a public inquiry into the appeal due to be heard later this year.

Mr Yeo added: “As the MP for the area I might be expected to object to this scheme wholly on the basis of the immense weight of local opposition to it. However, I would add that as a former environment minister with personal experience of judging planning appeals of this nature, I am firmly of the view that this site is economically and environmentally unsustainable in what is a semi-rural and residential part of Suffolk.”

Concerns have been voiced by a host of residents, councillors and other community leaders but Mike Courts, general manager for Brett Aggregates, said the firm should be able to dig as the site had been named in Suffolk County Council's mining and mineral plans as a potential quarry.

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