With the submission of an application for a limestone quarry north of Gorse Lane, surrounding residents are stepping up their opposition to the plans following months of research and fund-raising.
Construction industry supplier Mick George Ltd have now submitted their application to Lincolnshire County Council for a quarry and infill site on around 84.6 hectares of land south of Denton.
However the plans have been fiercely contested by many residents in nearby Denton, Harlaxton and Croxton Kerrial, who have formed the Gorse Lane Action Group (GOLAG).
Since becoming aware of the plans in July, the group have appointed a specialist planning consultant who has contributed to the draft waste and minerals policy at LCC, and will be submitting objections on the group’s behalf.
GOLAG have also undertaken extensive research, consulting with geologists regarding the site’s position above South Lincolnshire’s main limestone aquifer. Campaigners fear it will affect the water source feeding Denton lakes, resevoir and Grantham Canal.
The Woodland Trust has also approved a grant to help protect woodland adjoining the site, while GOLAG members have rolled up their sleeves to clear rubbish from both Viking Way, the nearby site of special scientific interest, and the resevoir, as well as holding numerous fund-raising events.
GOLAG chairman Gaile McMillan said: “We are going to fight this all the way and we have been fortunate to find high-level professional expertise locally, including architects, geologists, construction and waste disposal specialists to research key areas of objection.
“There is absolutely nothing in this proposal that makes sense, from the loss of valuable farmland and subsequent damage to wildlife, to the need for the limestone they propose to extract.”
The group is also concerned at an extra 80 lorries a day travelling on the A607 as a result of the quarry, and the inert materials that will be used to infill the land after the site’s 30-year operating life.
However Mick George Ltd argue that they have sought to engage with residents, and after meetings with the parish councils and the public, have included several revisions to their application.
These include plans to widen Gorse Lane from the site access to its intersection with the A607, a legally binding lorry routing agreement to alleviate concerns about HGVs travelling through villages, and a minimum 500m stand-off from any residential dwelling.
They have also reiterated in their application that the site constitutes part of a much larger area, totalling a further 614 hectares, where the landowner has historic permission for mineral extraction granted in the 1950’s under Interim Development Orders or IDO. The validity of these have been repeatedly challenged by residents, yet in the application letter planning manager John Gough states: “Should planning permission not be granted by the determing authority the implementation of the IDO remains the “fall-back” position.”
The consultation with LCC began on May 19 with a decision not expected to be reached until later in the summer or early autumn.