Quarry owners to appeal

Operators of a sand and gravel quarry are to appeal against a decision by Norfolk planners to reject proposals for the final phase of extraction at Beetley, near Dereham.

Operators of a sand and gravel quarry are to appeal against a decision by Norfolk planners to reject proposals for the final phase of extraction at Beetley, near Dereham.

Barker Bros Aggregates, which has been running the 12.5ha quarry for more than 50 years, wants to extract nearly 185,000 tonnes of sand and gravel from a neighbouring area of land to the east of an existing railway until June 2011.

It also wants to vary a condition to an existing planning permission granted in 2005 to allow for the extraction of approximately 230,000 tonnes of sand and gravel remaining from land south of Beetley Common and to allow for the restoration of the site, which it hopes to turn into a major green habitat by 2011.

But county councillors rejected the proposals, following fears that extensive mineral extraction could be detrimental to an already sensitive natural area.


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Derek Baxter, chairman of the county council planning regulatory committee, said members were concerned

at the impact of long-time operations in the valley.

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“Councillors took into consideration the fact that there are similar operations throughout the county and extraction should no longer be allowed at Beetley,” he said.

Last night, Danny Eves, the company's general manager said the firm would appeal against the decision within a week.

He insisted the application had the support of Norfolk's main wildlife organisations, including the RSPB, the Ornithological Society and the Wensum Trust.

“We hope to wrap up operations by 2011 and restore the site to a major green habitat,” he said.

“We have been very much involved in environmental activities, helping to plant some 7,000 trees in the area. Through this latest scheme,

we are looking to attract endangered species, including the stone curlew and the grey partridge.”

Mr Eves said the quarry had been operating for the last

50 years without causing disturbance in the area.

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