MP opposes extension of Wangford Quarry and wants other sites to be considered
- Credit: Archant
Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey has expressed her concern about the proposed extension of Wangford Quarry, which she fears could have an adverse impact on the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
She has responded to Suffolk County Council's consultation on its Minerals and Waste Local Plan, which proposes to include the Lime Kiln Farm site as part of the extended quarry.
Dr Coffey said she was 'extremely concerned' about the proposed extension of Wangford Quarry.
She said: 'This is the only proposed site in the plan which sits within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
'This heavily impacts on the local ecology, not only the protected AONB but the Minsmere-Walberswick Heaths and Marshes Site of Special Scientific Interest; the
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Minsmere-Walberswick Special Protected Area; and the Suffolk Coast National Nature Reserve.
'I do not deem the extension of Wangford Quarry a necessary erosion of the AONB and I urge the county council to consider other locations that don't have such an impact on protected designations to meet the need for gravel and sand extraction.'
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James Winterbotham, of Reydon Hall, just 500 yards from the site, said that at 27 hectares it was larger than the existing quarry on the other side of the road.
Suffolk County Council has said it is in the early stages of developing a Minerals and Waste Local Plan and the consultation – which is now closed – was the first stage in engagement with the public over the proposals.
County council officers are now examining all the responses received to the proposals, which will be taken into account before moving to the next stage of the plan's development.
The site in the Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB between the village of Wangford and Reydon is one of nine current quarries that could see their lives extended in order to extract more material, while a new site has also been proposed at Belstead.
The county council says the new minerals and waste plan should be sufficient to supply enough sand and gravel until the end of 2036 based largely on the average of sales over the previous 10 years of 1.12 million tonnes per year.
No site could be used unless a planning application was submitted and approved.