No point in a mineral debate

PUBLISHED: 11:04 02 November 2006 | UPDATED: 11:08 06 May 2010

SIR - Mineral Extraction - Broom South - MD15, since Tarmac have now submitted their formal application for these works, we await public notification and the invitation to make objections. However, there are two points of principle on which I believe cons

SIR - Mineral Extraction - Broom South - MD15, since Tarmac have now submitted their formal application for these works, we await public notification and the invitation to make objections. However, there are two points of principle on which I believe consideration by Beds County Council of the proposals at this stage to be unconstitutional and unfair, irrespective of the merits of the case.

Firstly, there is contained within the county council's own policy documents, a clause to the effect that afflictions such as unwelcome projects of this nature should not be inflicted upon communities which have already suffered similar blights in the recent past.

Broom has already endured 10 years of extraction, with, at least, a further three years to go under present permissions, and should now have a period of amnesty to comply with the council's own stated policy and to allow the re-establishment of some of the indiginous flora and fauna, not to mention relief for the inhabitants from the noise, dust and visual degradation of our environment. Many of us believe the amnesty should be at least equal to the period of affliction, say 15 years minimum, before any further extraction is allowed in the vicinity.

Secondly, the timetable for the discussion and deliberations by the county council for the overall Minerals Plan means that no decisions will be made until well into 2007.

How can it be right that a local decision for Broom South could be made before the overall plan is even debated, much less agreed. A decision, either way, for Broom, would clearly prejudice the outcome of the county-wide discussion.

In fact, what is the point of the structure put in place for the overall debate to be public, fair, transparent and accountable if the largest site under consideration has already been granted permission?

This is surely illogical and un-democratic, if not actually unlawful.

ALAN EASTHAM

High Street

Broom

Biggleswade

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