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Backing for Haddiscoe gravel pit campaign

PUBLISHED: 07:48 14 April 2009 | UPDATED: 08:55 06 July 2010

Villagers campaigning against plans for a gravel pit in their midst have been buoyed by support from two local councillors.

It has been just over a year since the Stopit action group was formed to fight plans for the proposed site in Haddiscoe.

Villagers campaigning against plans for a gravel pit in their midst have been buoyed by support from two local councillors.

It has been just over a year since the Stopit action group was formed to fight plans for the proposed site in Haddiscoe.

The site is one of a number being considered by Norfolk County Council in their minerals and waste plan and has been put forward by aggregates company Earsham Gravels.

But residents are fiercely opposed to the plans and have raised concerns about traffic levels, road safety, noise and light pollution, as well as possible fly-tipping and disturbance to the nearby churchyard.

The Stopit campaign recently held its annual general meeting and chairman Rory Kelsey said that county councillor Tony Tompkinson and district councillor William Kemp had both pledged their support.

Mr Kelsey said: “Stopit was formed just over a year ago, and we didn't expect to have an AGM. But the issue is hanging over our heads. In the 30 years that I have lived in the village I have never seen the village hall filled twice in two separate meetings. It is an indication of the strength of feeling. We have members in over 90 households, which means more than half the people in the village have signed up.

“Our main concerns for this particular site are its size and proximity to the village. It is going to straddle both sides of the B1136.

“Gravel extraction would go on for 20 years. It is not exactly a little hole in the ground. The village would be down wind of it.”

Mr Kelsey said the group has so far raised more than £6,500 for its fighting fund through membership, donations and fundraising.

In addition to awaiting the outcome of Norfolk County Council's waste and minerals plan, Mr Kelsey said the group is keeping a “watching brief” as an individual planning application could be lodged at any time. The meeting was told to be prepared for “the long haul” as the recession could delay the submitting of final applications.

A Norfolk County Council spokeswoman said the authority is on course to publish a preferred list of sites in August. “The first period of consultation has ended. We will enter another period of consultation following the publication of those sites in August which will be eight weeks long where people can make their views known again.”

The next Stopit event will be a hog roast and dance on the old pea viners in Thorpe Road, Haddiscoe, on Saturday May 23 at 7pm, with El Gato's Men and Silver Fox Disco.Tickets are £5 which can be booked in advance from Chris Colby on 07889 462343 or 01502 677606.

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