FROM time to time, there are planning issues that raise concerns.

Shortly after I was first elected in 2010, proposals were put forward to double the number of gypsy and traveller sites in the district, a proposal that was met with dismay amongst the 17 communities that were being considered.

I argued that Wyre Forest was already doing more than its fair share when measured against other districts in the county and the proposals were dropped.

More recently, Wyre Forest District Council started its district plan consultation. This created significant concerns about green-belt and where we are going to build around 4,000 much needed new homes.

This is certainly a less easy process, as we need the homes, but where?

In the last few months, a new planning challenge has been presented to residents in Wyre Forest.

It comes in the form of a large hole in the ground, specifically a 111-acre sand a gravel quarry in the countryside between Cookley and Wolverley, north east of Kidderminster.

The background to this is the country’s requirement to build homes, for which we need building materials.

There is a limited number of regions where these materials can come from and Worcestershire is a county with these resources.

Going back a number of years, we were asked to provide a county wide mineral abstraction plan and this is now with the Secretary of State, ready for approval.

If approved, the next stage is for a formal planning application to be made.

Because of its size, this is an issue handled at the county council, and not the more usual district council. Wyre Forest District Council is a statutory consultee, as are the local parish councils, but they do not have any power of veto on this.

A local committee has been established to block these plans and preserve this area.

There are five schools within a mile or so of the proposed site, and it is well populated. It seems crazy to dig a quarry within such proximity to population.

I am supporting the campaign to block these proposals. I am looking at other campaigns against similar proposals to see if we can learn from their experience.

As this is a legal process, how do we present opposition that can meet those legal requirements? NIMBY-ism is not a dirty word – it is about communities caring about their environment.