Protestors celebrate quarry plan victory

CAMPAIGNERS have claimed a major victory in a battle over a controversial quarry plan.

Will Clarke

CAMPAIGNERS have claimed a major victory in a battle over a controversial quarry plan.

Brett Aggregates plans for a gravel quarry at Chilton near Sudbury have met with widespread opposition over the number of trucks expected to be needed to carry the materials away.

During the summer 62 cars, tractors and vans with placards and balloons reduced traffic to a snail's pace on the A134 in an imitation of the estimated 20,000 lorry movements villagers' expect the quarry to bring.

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Campaigners also laid flowers along the side of the road to symbolise people who could lose their lives in expected road accidents.

Since then the appeal against Brett's first failed application due to be considered on February 10 has been withdrawn and bosses at the quarry firm remain tight lipped over the future of any subsequent application appeal, including a bid involving money for a roundabout to ease access to the site.

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Peter Clifford, Chairman of Chilton Parish Council, said: “I am extremely glad that Brett have recognised common sense and the strength of local opposition, including that of Suffolk County Council's own councillors, and withdrawn their appeal, saving everyone a lot of time, energy and expense in fighting an unpopular application.

“I hope they will now apply the same criteria to their second application with a roundabout.”

Bosses at Brett have expressed frustration with the failure to win planning application on the site, which has been included in the county minerals plan.

Mike Courts, general manager at Brett Aggregates, said he wasn't ruling any option out, including withdrawing their ambitions for Chilton altogether.

“We have until June to think about it and we will be considering all options,” he said.

Brett Aggregates still has five months to put in an appeal against the rejection of the second application - including a roundabout.

In the meantime, campaigners will be attending a government run inquiry which is looking at the viability of all the proposed aggregate extraction sites in Suffolk.

At the enquiry in March a government planning inspector will consider the Chilton plans and making a site visit. Campaigners hope that the inspector will find Chilton unsuitable and withdraw it permanently from the list.

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