Friday, 6 June 2014

What is it like living next to one of AI’s quarries?

What could people in Ottery St Mary look forward to if Aggregate Industries came to Straitgate Farm? A news report on AI’s expansion plans for Newbold Quarry near Uttoxeter might give some idea:
Homeowners living nearby have consistently complained about noise and heavy goods traffic emanating from the quarry.
They and Uttoxeter MP Andrew Griffiths have expressed their anger about the planned expansion, which would add eight years to Newbold’s life.
Mr Griffiths said his constituents were also still unhappy Aggregate had appealed against a wind turbine proposal rejected by borough planners.
He said: “On the one hand, Aggregate Industries want the local community to accept an extension to the quarry, with further impact on the landscape and countryside and the disruption that goes with that.
“On the other, they want to put a huge wind turbine which will further that impact.
“They have no right to expect the community to accept their plans if they’re not going to accept the wishes of the community on the wind turbine.
“It’s a bit rich of Aggregate Industries to just expect people to accept years of additional disruption, noise and damage to the countryside while expanding their quarry.
“They have no consideration for the wishes of the local community opposing the dirty great wind turbine which will blight the landscape.
“The community has already spoken out against the turbine but Aggregate persists.
“It’s perfectly understandable if residents want to protest against the extension if that’s the attitude Aggregate takes.
“The reality is that Aggregate is sticking up two fingers to the wishes of the people of Uttoxeter.”
Gill Conroy, who lives at Leasowes Farm, in Bypass Road, has had to live neighbouring the quarry for years.
She said: “They should complete and landscape the mess they’ve already made before they start digging again.
“Sand dust is always a major issue and our view is restricted due to the bunds they built around us at the beginning.
“They should have been taken down by now but, because they have not landscaped on schedule, they have had to stay to keep the dust down.
“I’m sure the site will be picturesque when completed but when will that be?”
When all the minerals have been extracted from the quarry, it will be transformed into an outdoor activity area with a sailing lake and other leisure and sports facilities.
The site’s life was due to end in 2013 but Aggregates got planning approval to extend it until 2016.
And, if the new proposed expansion is ratified by Staffordshire County Council, excavation will continue up to 2024.
An AI spokesman said:
“We do our very best to mitigate the negative effects a quarry can have on local neighbours but hope residents can see the important economic benefit this quarry delivers to the local area.”