Campaigners battling to scrap plans to dig a massive quarry in their village say the company behind the scheme has deliberately delayed providing information on the project to thwart their fight. 

Worried locals have already spent £5,000 on legal teams to halt the scheme and have raised concerns the deadline for approval has been drawn out to make it harder and more expensive for them to pursue. 

If the plans do go through a 52-acre quarry – roughly 26 football pitches – will be constructed in Haddiscoe, a small Broads village with a population of just 500 people. 

Villagers have set up a Stop It 2 campaign – which represents around 80pc of the community – to halt the plans. 

The group have turned on the company behind the scheme, fearing it is purposely attempting to delay to wait out the secretary of state signing off on an emerging minerals and waste policy, which the site has been put forward for.  

Beccles & Bungay Journal: Haddiscoe Quarry Site (Image: Sonya Duncan/Newsquest)Haddiscoe Quarry Site (Image: Sonya Duncan/Newsquest) (Image: Sonya Duncan/Newsquest)

If the policy is approved, it would make it easier for Breedon Trading, the company behind the project, to develop.   

And now, after months of delays, and pressure from this paper, the company has finally supplied information about the project requested by Norfolk County Council (NCC). 

A spokesman for Breedon said: “We can confirm, in accordance with Regulation 25 that a report was submitted on Friday, October 20, which seeks to respond to all of the issues that have been raised. 

“We will continue to engage with Norfolk County Council, and all relevant stakeholders. 

“Furthermore, we would welcome the opportunity to share our further submissions with the parish council directly.” 

Plans for the quarry - which would sit on Manor Farm, next to Crab Apple Lane - were first unveiled at the end of last year.  

Since then, the developers repeatedly put back providing information requested by NCC, which would decide the application.   

Breedon is a supplier of concrete and cement and operates 350 sites in the UK.  

The quarry would be used to extract gravel for local construction projects, possibly including the dualling of the A47 and the Norwich Western Link Road.  

Locals argue the scheme would be too close to homes and bring dust, noise and extra traffic.  

They add that some in the village will be living within 55 metres of the proposed quarry.  

NCC asked for more information on a variety of topics, including what mitigation is planned to limit the impact on highways, public rights of way and trees as well as the submission of a health impact assessment.   

A deadline of June 30 was initially set by NCC to get the information, which was then pushed back to mid-August.     

Beccles & Bungay Journal: Ray Long of Haddiscoe Parish Council with the Stop It 2 campaign - Clare Beatwell, Daryl Packer, Tony Burton, Marcus Aldren, Oliver Beatwell and David Abbott (Image: George Thompson)Ray Long of Haddiscoe Parish Council with the Stop It 2 campaign - Clare Beatwell, Daryl Packer, Tony Burton, Marcus Aldren, Oliver Beatwell and David Abbott (Image: George Thompson) (Image: George Thompson)

Daryl Packer, a former mining engineer and member of Stop It 2, said: “We are getting really frustrated about the length of time it is taking, it’s getting drawn out.  

“It is being strung out, which adds to the frustration and worry I and the village have.  

“It has already cost us a huge amount of money.”  

In their fight against the scheme, neighbours have come together to hire lawyers to represent them.  

“We are worried that the reason for the delay is that they want to see the mineral policy signed off by the secretary of state," Mr Packer said. 

“The current policy doesn’t have the land in it.  

“If it gets signed off that is what the county council will work with for the next 15 years and it becomes a lot more difficult for us to fight. 

"We are frustrated at how long Breedon is taking and we are frustrated at Norfolk County Council allowing this extension. It's in their power to throw this out."  

Beccles & Bungay Journal: Haddiscoe quarry planning notification (Image: Sonya Duncan)Haddiscoe quarry planning notification (Image: Sonya Duncan) (Image: Sonya Duncan)

A Norfolk County Council spokeswoman said: “In accordance with the national planning policy framework, we are working proactively with the applicant and have agreed to their request for further time to submit the information. 

"This is to ensure we are able to make a robust decision based on all the relevant information available.  

“We require the additional information, which relates to impacts on highway safety, public rights of way, ecology, public health and amenities, to be submitted by the end of this month.  

“Once we have the information, it will be consulted on for 30 days and, if no further issues arise, the application will go to the next available planning committee for a decision.”  

The Haddiscoe Struggles  

This is not the first time the community has had to fight quarries planned in the village, the original Stop It campaign spent years fighting against a proposal that was ultimately turned down in 2014.  

Villages said that scheme had cost them around £20,000 in legal fees.    

The rejected plans - put forward by another company - were larger in scale.  

They included a second field next to Haddiscoe's 11th century St Mary's church and envisaged a 21-year operating period, with a processing plant on site.  

The new scheme also does not involve an on-site processing plant, with the extracted gravel expected to be taken four miles away by HGV to a quarry at Norton Subcourse.  

In March, locals were also hit with plans for a second quarry in the village which was ultimately withdrawn by the developer Landhaul Developments Ltd.  

That scheme would have seen a 16-acre site east of Wiggs Road filled with soil and debris from construction and demolition projects.