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Campaigners face new quarry battle

PUBLISHED: 10:31 23 April 2008 | UPDATED: 07:21 01 August 2010

CAMPAIGNERS who fought off an application for a quarry in their South Norfolk village two years ago have vowed to battle once again against a new set of mineral site plans.

CAMPAIGNERS who fought off an application for a quarry in their South Norfolk village two years ago have vowed to battle once again against a new set of mineral site plans.

Protestors living in and around Ditchingham, near Bungay, saw off plans by international company Lafarge Aggregates to set up a gravel quarry in the village in 2005.

Now the proposals are back on the table and the villagers have vowed to fight against the scheme, which would involve extracting sand and gravel from land off the B1332 Norwich Road.

The village-based campaign group Enraged (Norfolk residents against gravel extraction at Ditchingham) has reformed to submit a formal objection against the application, saying that a quarry would bring heavy traffic to the already dangerous road and spoil the rural landscape.

The original proposal to start quarrying on the site opposite Ditchingham Hall was withdrawn in February 2006 but Lafarge said it would look at a new application when the time was right and now the company has resubmitted plans as part of Norfolk County Council's waste and mineral allocation consultation.

Julian Green, a member of Ditchingham Parish Council and the chairman of Enraged, said that more than 200 people have given their backing to the objection.

He said: “Everyone who knows the B1332 and its accident record, particularly close to the proposed site entrance, would condemn as madness any proposal to develop this site and directly increase HGV movements on that road.”

Mr Green said that the group has also been heartened by a letter from the Garden History Society, which works with English Heritage to protect Norfolk's historic parks and gardens, which has confirmed Enraged's view that land at Grade II listed Dichingham park at Grade I Ditchingham Hall would suffer “irreparable damage” if the quarry is given the go ahead.

Jonathan Chadd, a member of Enraged, said that the group's objection to the plans includes road safety data as well as photos of the proposed site from the 28 neighbouring properties. He said: “We are quite determined to ensure that this site is excluded from the plan and the threat to the landscape and to the community removed for the foreseeable future.”

The county council's consultation into the location of quarry sites in the county to be used until 2021 comes to an end this Friday. For more information on the planned sites, visit www.norfolk.gov.uk/nmwdf.

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