Gravel plan uproar

PUBLISHED: 12:54 20 April 2006 | UPDATED: 10:01 06 May 2010

PUBLIC opposition is mounting against plans to turn 1,000 acres of farmland into a massive quarry. Residents in Broom fear the proposals by Tarmac will destroy the landscape and leave them with 20 years of hell. Tarmac wants to excavate for aggregates on

PUBLIC opposition is mounting against plans to turn 1,000 acres of farmland into a massive quarry.

Residents in Broom fear the proposals by Tarmac will destroy the landscape and leave them with 20 years of hell.

Tarmac wants to excavate for aggregates on the site just south of Broom. The company already has a gravel extraction site to the north of the village.

The land currently under consideration by Tarmac belongs to Whitbread estates headed by the Lord Lieutenant of Bedfordshire Samuel Whitbread. He is one of the largest land owners in the county.

On Tuesday night the new Liberal Democrat district councillor for the area, Roger Baines, chaired a meeting in Broom village hall where almost 100 residents put their views about the Tarmac proposals.

"There was a mood of opposition. We are now setting up a committee to fight these plans," said Cllr Baines.

"It is unfair that the residents of Broom have been picked on again to have a quarry on their doorstep. They have suffered enough.

"Tarmac have had a quarry here for over 10 years. Now residents could be facing another 20 years of hell with more excavations."

Starting tomorrow, for two days, Tarmac will be holding a public exhibition in Broom village hall to reveal their plans before any planning application is made to the county council.

The exhibition will be on Friday between 10am and 7pm and on Saturday between 10am and 1pm. A team from Tarmac will be on hand to answer questions.

Bedfordshire County Council is keeping a close eye on the proposals and a spokesman said: "The county council received a letter from Tarmac Ltd on April 6 suggesting they would be submitting a planning application to extend their quarrying operations in Broom.

"Tarmac has decided to host a public exhibition ahead of any planning application.

"This will give the public and the council the chance to find out more about Tarmac's plans. It gives us a chance to see what they want to do, the size of site and their restoration plans once they have finished.

"However, if Tarmac does apply for planning permission at the site, it will be subject to close scrutiny by the county council and the public will have another chance to have their say and give their views."

Simon Chaffe, senior estates surveyor for Tarmac, said: "We're in the process of preparing a planning application and environmental impact assessment for the site south of Broom. We hope that by holding the exhibition on Friday and Saturday we are enabling as many people as possible to attend, to speak to myself and other Tarmac representatives and to fully understand the proposals.

"Provisional plans of the proposed extraction area, as well as restoration plans will be on display."

Whitbread Estates has declined to make any comment on the proposals.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Comet. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Most Read

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Most Read

Latest from the The Comet