Villagers fear new quarry

PUBLISHED: 13:35 27 April 2006 | UPDATED: 10:03 06 May 2010

Simon Chaffe

Simon Chaffe

ONE of the world s largest companies involved in the excavation of minerals says it will not make the lives of residents in Broom a misery. Fears that a new site it wants to open up to the south of the village will have a huge impact on the quality of lif

ONE of the world's largest companies involved in the excavation of minerals says it will not make the lives of residents in Broom a misery.

Fears that a new site it wants to open up to the south of the village will have a huge impact on the quality of life in Broom and other surrounding villages have been refuted by Tarmac.

The company already operates a large quarry to the north of Broom which has been in operation for nine years and will continue until at least 2012.

Last week The Comet revealed Tarmac had lodged proposals with Bedfordshire County Council to open up a new site covering 280 acres much closer to the village than its existing site.

Tarmac also disclosed it is interested in opening up another large swathe of land adjacent and to the north of where it wants to start a new quarry.

Last week at a two-day exhibition in Broom Village Hall, Tarmac told residents the new site would be worked for 13 years allowing it to excavate 5.4 million tonnes of sand and gravel.

The land Tarmac wants to operate on is owned by the Whitbread estate and would remain the property of that organisation throughout the operation.

Tarmac refused to reveal what financial settlement the estate would receive for being allowed to excavate minerals on the site.

The company also assured residents that after excavations had been completed the land would be returned to agricultural use.

"We are planning with the residents of Broom in mind. We will listen to what they and parish councils have to say before we make our final planning application," said Simon Chaffe, senior estates surveyor for Tarmac.

"We know what people are thinking and understand their concerns but we can assure them it will have as much impact on the village as our other site does now.

"This new site is a direct replacement of our current site at Broom and we are promising not to open up the new site until the other one has been closed. Two quarries will not be operating close to the village at the same time.

"Obviously there is opposition to plans like this because people do fear about the impact it will have on their community and we understand that.

"But I can assure them we will listen to their opinions and hopefully we can all work together to find a positive result before we submit our plans to the county council."

The proposals show Tarmac wants to extract the minerals in six phases. There will be one entrance to the site on an existing access track leading on to the B658 Shefford Road.

Tarmac says 70 per cent of all vehicle movement from the site is predicted to go northwards on to the B658 towards the G&M Growers roundabout, along Hill Lane to the A1 roundabout.

The remaining 30 per cent of vehicles will go southwards on to the B658 through Stanford and Shefford. The site would be opened from 7am to 6pm Monday to Friday and 7am to 1pm on Saturdays with no extraction taking place on Sundays or Bank Holidays

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