Campaigners hail victory in quarry row

Campaigners who have fought a proposed quarry in south Norfolk are celebrating after the firm involved said it now had no plans to submit an application.

Campaigners who have fought a proposed quarry in South Norfolk are celebrating after the firm involved said it now had no plans to submit an application.

Residents living in and around Ditchingham, near Bungay, have protested against a site being set up to quarry sand and gravel across historic parkland on their doorstep.

Now, the pressure group set up to fight those plans is "quietly celebrating" after finding out that international aggregates firm Lafarge has stepped back from the site.

Enraged (Norfolk residents against gravel extraction at Ditchingham) had gathered residents from several villages to fight Lafarge over its plans.

Now the group has agreed that campaign signs erected alongside the B1332 Norwich to Bungay road should be taken down.

The original application by Lafarge, over land beside the B1332 and opposite Ditchingham Hall, was withdrawn in February because minerals quotas for Norfolk were already above the minimum level.

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But Lafarge had said it would submit a new application when the time is right.

Since then, however, the company has given up options to quarry two other sites off Fen Lane between Ditchingham and Hedenham and beside Ditchingham Church, close to All Hallows Convent.

Officials from Norfolk County Council's highways department have also said they would carry out a new assessment of the dangers linked to a quarry site off the B1332 if a new application was made.

Julian Green, chairman of Enraged, said that while there was still a chance that a new application could be made for two parts of the Ditchingham estate, he was pleased with the current position.

"We are delighted at the news Lafarge has surrendered its rights over the two sites and does not presently propose to re-submit its application," he said.

"Throughout our campaign we have maintained a very constructive dialogue with Viscount Tamworth and the Ditchingham Estate and believe that he both understands, and is sympathetic to, our concerns.

"We realise that Lafarge may reconsider a new application at some future date but we are confident that it will have little chance of success.

"Although we are standing down the active campaign, Enraged will remain vigilant and ready to resume its work to meet any future threat," he added.

"We will continue to monitor the situation until we have written confirmation that plans for a quarry at Ditchingham have been abandoned altogether."