Protests over plans for quarry and landfill near Denton

Gorse Lane Action Group were out in force to protest against the plans.
Gorse Lane Action Group were out in force to protest against the plans.
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Protesters demonstrated against plans to create a quarry and landfill site to the south of Denton at a public meeting in the village last Thursday.

Members of Gorse Lane Action Group (GOLAG) displayed placards outside and inside the village hall as they vented their opposition to the plans to quarry limestone on 100 hectares of agricultural land between the A607 and Gorse Lane.

Residents from Denton and Croxton Kerrial packed the meeting and were unanimously opposed to the proposals.

On behalf of landowner Charles Welby, construction industry supplier Mick George Limited is putting together an application to the county council which they say will activate planning permission for mineral extraction which dates back to 1955.

In a statement, GOLAG said: “Mick George’s representatives are busy telling people that because their application is based on historic planning permission this quarry is going to go ahead so it’s best to work with them. That’s not the case. It’s a new application and we believe there are excellent grounds to fight it.

“Members of the GOLAG committee and its supporters are concerned over the proposed destruction of high grade farmland in order to have an inert landfill site when we should be concentrating on more greener issues and recycling rather than dumping.

“The fields involved are currently in successful agricultural production, and supported by environmentally approved management schemes to support wildlife and have been for many decades.

“The proposed quarry site is on an exposed, elevated plateau with beautiful views towards Grantham and the Vale of Belvoir and far beyond.

“It will also be destroying an area of natural beauty, tranquillity and public amenity.”

At the public meeting John Gough, planning manager for Mick George, took questions on numerous concerns including increased traffic, dust and noise levels, and the impact on the nearby site of special scientific interest, Viking Way.

In response to traffic and road safety fears due to an estimated 80 trucks a day travelling to and from the site, Mr Gough said: “The trucks won’t be allowed to use Gorse Lane easterly towards Grantham, but will leave in a westerly direction.”

He added that parts of Gorse Lane would be widened as a condition of the application, and that noise and dust levels would be low due to the site being below ground level.

Mr Gough was also asked whether the landfill element of the plan, which would see inert materials leftover from construction sites taken to the area, was the main financial incentive for the application rather than the quarry.

Chair of GOLAG, Gaile McMillan said: “We believe that the quarrying of limestone is a pretext to open up a huge hole in the ground for dumping of inert waste.

“Geology suggests that the limestone is generally of poor quality and useful only for infill.

“Inert waste landfill, on the other hand, currently attracts ever increasing charges and we believe this is what Charles Welby and Mick George see as their main earner.”

While Charles Welby was not present at the meeting, his brother Dominic Welby gave a statement affirming that the rest of the family oppose the plans.

However Mr Gough expressed his belief that due to the dormant planning permission, the application which is due to be submitted either before Christmas or early in the New Year had a 96 per cent chance of succeeeding.

GOLAG say they are continuing to gather support and have created a website at www.gorselanequarry.co.uk