Residents react to ‘threatening’ plans for quarry at Denton

Land to the south of Denton has existing planning permission for mineral extraction.
Land to the south of Denton has existing planning permission for mineral extraction.
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Accusations of blackmail were made during a packed parish council meeting at Denton on Monday in response to a planned quarry and landfill site to the south of the village.

The comments came after residents heard details of the project from John Gough, planning manager for applicants and construction industry supplier Mick George Limited.

It concerns land owned by the Welby Estate who, due to a ministerial decision dating back to 1955, already have existing planning permission for mineral extraction on approximately 900 hectares in between Denton, Harlaxton, Stroxton and Hungerton.

At the moment this permission is classed as dormant, and cannot be implemented until a further application is made and conditions are agreed with Lincolnshire County Council.

However Welby Estate and Mick George Limited now intend to rescind the majority of this permisison and focus solely on 100 hectares south of Denton between the A607 and Gorse Lane.

During the presentation Mr Gough said: “If for any reason this new planning application is refused then you simply wind the clock back and they’ll go back and start implementing the old mineral planning permission which obviously covers a far greater area.”

Several villagers at the public meeting described this point as ‘very threatening’, while another exclaimed: “It is downright, blatant blackmail, saying if you don’t do what we tell you we will just make it worse.”

Among those who will be most affected by the quarry is Peter Sears, a resident of the nearby Hill Top Farm who said: “We moved there for one reason - peace and quiet. We are going to lose this idyllic setting.”

Residents and parish councillors also expressed concerns relating to operating times, dust levels, glare from potential lighting and the exact materials which would be used to backfill the quarry.

Mr Gough assured attendees that there would be an onsite dust action plan, that any lighting would be downward facing and below the ground, and that each returning vehicle would be subject to a waste consignment note detailing what exactly they contained to ensure it was all safe.

He added: “They will import inert materials to bring it back to original ground level so it’s not going to be a big scar in the ground.”

Due to the nature of the project, it is dealt with by LCC’s mineral planning authority rather than by South Kesteven District Council, who are instead a consultee.

Mick George are currently carrying out noise assessments and landscape appraisals which along with the surveys they have already completed will form an application they intend to submit to LCC by the end of this year.

** The plan in numbers:

* The planned quarry should provide 30 years of mineral extraction.

* Around 35 vehicles will leave the site every day with the same number or more returning to fill the void with inert materials.

* These would transport an estimated 5000-6000 cubic metres of material each week.

* Proposed operating hours for the quarry are 7am-6pm Monday to Friday, 7am-1pm on Saturday, with vehicles leaving from 6am all year round.