PROTESTERS against plans to build a sand and mineral quarry near Kidderminster are urging people to submit their objections before the consultation deadline.

NRS Aggregates has now lodged its proposal to Worcestershire County Council to extract 300,000 tonnes of sand and gravel per year from a 110-acre patch of green belt land at Lea Castle Farm, off the A449, restoring the site once each stage is complete.

The company says materials from the quarry will supply much-needed aggregates to maintain local roads and build new housing, but an action group set up in June last year remains concerned the countryside will be spoiled beyond repair.

A spokesman for the Stop Lea Castle Farm Quarry Action Group said: "We have already seen tremendous support from local residents with over 2,500 signatures opposing the quarry plans and a fiercely strong Facebook group with over 1,200 members - figures which continue to grow daily.

"Now the planning application is available for public consultation, we have six weeks to submit our objections.

"We urge all concerned residents to attend the public consultation to discuss or raise your concerns to the proposed sand and gravel quarry situated on historic parkland in the heart of our communities, linking the villages of Cookley, Wolverley and outskirts of Kidderminster."

Campaigners say the quarry will cause air and noise pollution in the surrounding area, increase congestion and disrupt local businesses and residents.

Wyre Forest MP Mark Garnier has also spoken out against the plans, saying: "To the south east is Wolverley with its Seabright Primary School and a little further away, Wolverley High.

Halesowen News:

"Whilst there are significant rules governing dust emissions from quarries, can the operators really guarantee that there will never be occasions of significant dust? And will residents be victims of noise pollution?

"Meanwhile, the roads around the site will be subject to heavy lorries, firstly bringing in plant and machinery, then taking away the extractions. Whilst it may be fine by the standards of the county council highways department, the endless grind of being stuck behind a heavy, noisy, dirty lorry wears out the patience of locals."

A meeting will be held at Heathfield Knoll School sports hall on March 5 at 6.30pm.

A spokesman for NRS Aggregates said: "We submitted our planning application at the end of last year, following a period of public consultation. The council’s current consultation provides another opportunity for residents to comment on the proposed scheme.

“We recognise that some people have concerns about aspects of the proposals, but we have worked to address these in the application.

"Mineral extraction is subject to stringent conditions set by the council, so any future operations would be run to the very highest standards.

“We must bear in mind that there is a shortage of aggregate supply in Worcestershire. Our proposals would help address this, delivering sand and gravel which would be used to build new homes and maintain local roads.”

Councillor Ken Pollock, cabinet member with responsibility for economy and infrastructure at Worcestershire County Council, said: “We can confirm that an application has been received for a quarry site at Lea Castle Farm.

"This is currently out for public consultation until March 19, 2020.

"A copy of the application submission is available to view at Kidderminster Library, County Hall reception and online at e-planning.worcestershire.gov.uk, using application reference 19/000053/CM.”

Members of the public can also comment on the application via post to Planning Development Management, Worcestershire County Council, County Hall, Spetchley Road, Worcester, WR5 2NP, or via email to devcontrolteam@worcestershire.gov.uk.