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Fears Belstead could see ‘over-industrialisation’ if quarry plan is approved

PUBLISHED: 13:40 03 November 2017

Sites in Suffolk have been identified for extra sand and gravel extraction - including the possibility of a new quarry at Belstead. Picture: ARCHANT LIBRARY

Sites in Suffolk have been identified for extra sand and gravel extraction - including the possibility of a new quarry at Belstead. Picture: ARCHANT LIBRARY

Archant

Calls have been made for a public meeting to be held to discuss proposals for a new quarry at Belstead – with suggestions that more suitable sites could be available.

The village has been identified as a site for sand and gravel extraction by Suffolk County Council as part of a new plan drawn up to provide materials needed for the construction industry until 2036.

Proposals currently out for a six-week consultation suggest that nine current quarries could see their lives extended in order to extract more material, while Belstead is the only community in the county to get a new quarry.

County councillor for Belstead Brook, Christopher Hudson welcomed the consultation on the issue and the opportunity for the public to get involved.

He said a drop-in session for people to find out more about the proposal would be held at Belstead Village Hall, Wits End, Grove Hill, Belstead, on November 9 from 2pm to 8pm.

Mr Hudson said: “I really urge people to give their views and to contact both me personally and the county council and bring forward their worries and concerns.

“There were a wide range of options considered before this plan was drawn up and I was surprised that Belstead was chosen – there may be other sites which have more merit.

“I think once people have had a chance to see the full details there may be a need for a public meeting so that people can debate with the details.”

Mr Hudson said the site was close to Pinewood and the A12 and there would be possible concerns over extra traffic impact as well as the earthworks. He said there was a need to ensure there was not an “over-industrialisation” of Belstead, which was still a peaceful village.

The county council says the new minerals and waste local plan should be sufficient to supply enough sand and gravel until the end of 2036 based largely on the average of sales over the previous 10 years of 1.12 million tonnes per year.

No site could be used unless a planning application was submitted and approved.

Matthew Hicks, cabinet member for environment and public protection, said: “Belstead has been proposed as it meets site selection criteria.”

To comment visit www.suffolk.gov.uk/mineralsandwaste

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