Fears over concrete plans

PUBLISHED: 12:47 09 November 2006 | UPDATED: 11:11 06 May 2010

Protest group chairman Steve Ablett at the current quarry

Protest group chairman Steve Ablett at the current quarry

VILLAGERS angry at having another quarry close to their homes have discovered to their horror the plans also include a cement making facility. Campaigners say aggregates company Tarmac slipped in their proposals for a cement making facility in their plans

VILLAGERS angry at having another quarry close to their homes have discovered to their horror the plans also include a cement making facility.

Campaigners say aggregates company Tarmac slipped in their proposals for a cement making facility in their plans to Bedfordshire County Council without consulting them.

When Tarmac announced in May they were to open up another 400acre site south of Broom in 2010 there was widespread protests from villagers who have already had to endure quarrying by the company to the north of the village for the past 10 years.

Campaigners are furious the cement facility was added to the planning application without warning them.

"When Tarmac addressed residents there was never any mention of a cement facility on the site. Only when you read through the planning application you discover it has been added," said Stanfordbroomquarry protest group chairman Steve Ablett.

"To be honest it is a very complicated planning application but when we finally sorted our way through it last Friday we discovered Tarmac also want a concrete mixing plant there.

"When they originally came to the village they never mentioned anything about a concrete facility and we are obviously very angry they have slipped this into their planning application without telling us or the parish council.

"They obviously want to use the gravel they will take out of the site and use it to manufacture their own cement.

"But this will mean more movements of heavy vehicles because they will have to bring the cement on to the site and might even need more land to build the facility on.

"They have slipped this in through the back door hoping nobody in the village would pick it up. We are very angry and are planning our next course of action.

"Hopefully, we can put enough pressure on the county council to delay any decision on the planning application.

"We are going to fight our corner because if this plan goes ahead it could mean people here will have quarrying around here for almost half their lifetime."

Cllr Roger Baines, the local district councillor said: "The inclusion of a concrete manufacturing facility is, I believe, a matter of serious concern to the local residents.

"This will mean substantially increased lorry movements since additional material will have to be shipped into the site and large rotating liquid concrete lorries will exit the site. This is all further bad news for residents and stiffens the resolve of residents to request the county council to deny planning permission.''

Simon Treacy, Tarmac's estates manager, said: "Tarmac proposes to erect a concrete batching plant, an operation vastly smaller in scale to a cement plant.

"We have taken great care to minimise the environmental impact of our proposals and we aim to continue to be good neighbours and to listen to local people.

"The concrete batching plant at the site will supply ready-mixed concrete to the local construction industry.

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