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Haddiscoe targeted for new gravel pit

PUBLISHED: 16:54 06 March 2008 | UPDATED: 10:15 01 August 2010

OVER 100 people in and around Haddiscoe attended an emergency meeting on Monday after news that the village is being targeted for a new gravel pit.

The extraction site, which is currently at the "screening and scoping" stage of development, is being proposed by Earsham Gravel, and would go either side of the B1136 Hales road on over 40 hectares of land owned by Manor Farm at the North-West of the village.

OVER 100 people in and around Haddiscoe attended an emergency meeting on Monday after news that the village is being targeted for a new gravel pit.

The extraction site, which is currently at the “screening and scoping” stage of development, is being proposed by Earsham Gravel, and would go either side of the B1136 Hales road on over 40 hectares of land owned by Manor Farm at the North-West of the village.

The majority of villagers at the meeting attended to express their strong opposition to the site, stressing a number of concerns including a possible increase in traffic flow and road accidents, as well as possible noise and light pollution problems.

Haddiscoe Parish Council chairman Carol Grant said: “I've never had to chair a meeting with so many people, I was absolutely astonished by the number of people that came out, and most people were against it. The access and road issue was what worried them most. We have very small roads, and the road into Haddiscoe doesn't even have room for two lorries to pass through.

“We've been campaigning for a road widening for many years, these roads are just not ready for extra traffic.”

With 19 families in Haddiscoe living along the A143, the main road through the village, and narrow local roads providing access to the site, the possibility of extra traffic is also seen by many villagers as extremely dangerous.

Parishioner Roy Haynes recently wrote in a letter to the EDP: “The site will be near the junction of where the notorious Haddiscoe bends, where fatalities occur each year often as a result of tourists speeding and underestimating the blind bends, meet the Hales road which has also experienced fatalities as a result of the lorries turning from side roads into the main Hales road.

“Lorries will be turning slowly into both these roads meeting faster traffic in both directions. If the proposal were to go ahead more fatalities would be inevitable.”

There were also grave concerns about the noise and light pollution the pit could cause, particularly as the proposed site is at an elevated point in the village, and people were anxious that the site would attract fly tipping.

The site it next to Haddiscoe Churchyard, and villagers said they were worried about an extraction site close to where their friends and family have been buried, and people were also worried that the site might disturb a possible 11th century archaeological site which has never been unearthed due to a lack of funding.

Haddiscoe Parish Council found out about the plans at the end of February, and they were initially given only until March 3 to gain local feedback, however it was extended so that they could stage Monday's meeting.

They have now written a letter to Norfolk County Council explaining their concerns, and Earsham Gravel must now decide whether to put in a formal planning application.

Sarah Daines, Haddiscoe Parish Clerk, said: “Emotions are running high for good reason and you will find that it is at times like this that we will see neighbours and relatives within the village bonding and fighting for what they reasonably feel is theirs - the choice to live peacefully and safely within the village of their choice.”

We were unable to get a response from Earsham Gravel at the time of going to print.

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