A public inquiry has today been launched into plans to create a controversial sand and gravel quarry in a Norfolk village.

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Earsham Gravels Limited applied to turn two fields at Manor Farm in Haddiscoe into a quarry, where 1.45m tonnes of sand and gravel would be extracted during a 21-year period.

The plans were unanimously rejected by Norfolk County Council’s planning and regulatory committee in January 2013, going against their officer’s recommendation for approval. Councillors said the quarry would have an adverse impact on St Mary’s Church, the local landscape and the dust and traffic would affect residents.

However Earsham Gravels Limited appealed the decision, stating that the quarry would provide £34m to the economy and help the council meet their minimum target of sand and gravel reserves.

The inquiry was launched at County Hall in Norwich this morning by planning inspector Stuart Nixon. Both parties will be called forward to give evidence over the next three days.

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