Campaigners celebrate as quarry plan refused

Stourbridge News: Campaigners led by cllr Dave Tyler (front) celebrate victory at DK Rugby Club, Wall Heath, after a plan for a massive quarry next to the club was thrown out. Buy photo: 251249AM Buy this photo » Campaigners led by cllr Dave Tyler (front) celebrate victory at DK Rugby Club, Wall Heath, after a plan for a massive quarry next to the club was thrown out. Buy photo: 251249AM

CAMPAIGNERS in Wall Heath are celebrating after winning their fight against plans to build a massive new quarry on green belt land.

Staffordshire County Council’s planning committee yesterday (Thursday) voted unanimously against a controversial application submitted by FG Davis & Sons (Contractors) Limited to extract sand and gravel from ten hectares of land at Mile Flat next to Dudley Kingswinford Rugby Club.

The plan sparked a storm of protest from residents, politicians and members of the rugby club who formed the Quarry Fighting Fund to oppose the development.

Campaign spokesman, councillor Dave Tyler, said the committee’s decision was “good news” and added: “There was a myriad of reasons why this plan should never go ahead. Hopefully this is the end of the matter and hopefully Mr Davis won’t put the community through this again.

“The whole area is a haven for sports and recreation - to put a dust ridden quarry in the middle of it would be criminal.

“DK is a cup winning and promotion winning side and the last thing they need is a quarry next door.”

Dudley South MP Chris Kelly said he was “delighted” the plan had been refused, adding: “The many hundreds of people who assisted the Quarry Fighting Fund group have certainly made planners and councillors sit up and listen to what the objectors were calling for.”

The Conservative MP, however, said he was “disappointed” to hear an extension had been granted, against the advice of council officers, to enable the company to continue land-filling for an extra 18 months at the existing FG Davis quarry in Enville Road.

He added: “It is my constituents along Enville Road and the surrounding area that have to contend with this and not the councillors who passed the decision.”

Spencer Davies, a spokesman for FG Davis, said the company was “happy” that permission to complete land-filling at Enville Road had been extended from October 2013 to April 2015.

However he said the rejection of the Mile Flat application could result in “significant job losses” and he said an appeal would soon be lodged with the Planning Inspectorate at Bristol to try to overturn the decision.

He added: “Under the current climate we can’t sit here and allow these people who have been working for our company for decades to lose their jobs.”

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