Councillors approve plan to bring forward works at Kingswinford quarry

COUNCILLORS unanimously approved an application to bring forward building work at a Kingswinford quarry despite objections from residents.

The plan by Ketley Quarry bosses to bring forward the construction of mounds known as bunds, which aim to screen the site to reduce noise levels and the visual impact of the quarry from nearby homes, was given the thumbs-up at Monday's development control committee meeting.

The quarry was previously granted permission to build bund three in January 2014 and bund four in 2015 but a revised application was submitted asking for permission to build both mounds in 2014 to "minimise impacts on residents" and to enable swift landscaping to take place, a report to the council stated.

However 11 residents living in Oregon Close near the site signed a petition and raised fears that bringing forward construction to 2014 would not allow enough time for monitoring and structural surveys to be carried out in the street which resident Keith Taylor says sits on top of four mine shafts.

The chartered engineer said people living in the cul-de-sac were worried about the effects to their properties of moving thousands of tonnes of earth to create the six to eight metre bunds on top of an existing four-metre wall and he told the meeting the quarry should stick to the approved timescales for the work as "residents do not want to suffer noise and toxic fumes 12 months earlier than necessary".

He told council planners: "I hope your guy correct and it's not going to affect anything - that amount of earth movement is going to cause massive amounts of vibration. It's the vibration we're are worried about."

Committee members, however, approved the revision to the scheme with chairman Councillor Qadar Zada saying: "Building it together must be a good thing rather than separately and causing two sets of nuisance for local residents."

Councillor Tim Wright said failure to bring forward the works would be "delaying the inevitable" and he added: "It's a win, win situation; it's going to happen anyway."

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