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Elmswell Parish Council calls for tougher enforcement on quarry after expansion plans submitted by Aggmax Transport Ltd





A parish council has called for tougher enforcement on a village quarry as it prepares to submit an objection to its extension.

The proposals have been submitted by Aggmax Transport for the northern expansion of Lawn Farm Quarry, in Wetherden, south of Elmswell.

During last night’s Elmswell Parish Council meeting, Peter Dow, parish clerk, called for tougher enforcement on what he described as fundamental failings in how the quarry is run — citing instances where mud was left on the access road.

Residents took part in a community walk to visit on Sunday, February 11. Picture: Submitted
Residents took part in a community walk to visit on Sunday, February 11. Picture: Submitted

He said: “The current enforcement infrastructure can’t control the site.”

Before councillors agreed to submit an objection letter, Mr Dow suggested an enforcement officer should be dedicated to the development, at the cost of the company, and perform weekly site visits.

Cllr Sue Roots also added: “It’s appalling that the county council know about problems, and yet they’re still allowing this to go on. It’s just ridiculous.”

The entrance to Aggmax Transport Ltd site in Lawn Farm Quarry, Wetherden. Picture: Google Maps
The entrance to Aggmax Transport Ltd site in Lawn Farm Quarry, Wetherden. Picture: Google Maps

The access road, however, is frequently used by HGVs which are not associated with the company as a result of other businesses, as well as accident-related traffic diversions.

The meeting was attended by multiple residents who also wished to object to the extension citing health and safety concerns.

Kerstin Haub, who lives in a housing estate just north of the quarry, said she was concerned about the safety of her two children.

She added: “My main concern is the security of my children. It’s a huge green area and I’m really worried about letting them play.

The tree was decorated for Valentine's Day. Picture: Submitted
The tree was decorated for Valentine's Day. Picture: Submitted

“You also hear about so many health issues with quarries and the extension will be too close to our homes.”

Many of these concerns, including worries about ecological and landscape impacts, have been put into an online petition currently supported by over 660 signatures.

In documents provided by the company, however, assessments indicated that no noise, dust, or air quality impacts were anticipated to affect the site, with levels remaining within acceptable limits.

The petition now has more than 660 signatures. Picture: Submitted
The petition now has more than 660 signatures. Picture: Submitted

A five-metre bund, alongside wire fencing, is also proposed for the expansion site’s northern boundary.

The quarry’s supporting statement says: “The principles of the development are that the operations will be undertaken in much the same way as the existing quarry has been worked and restored to date. The development will be worked in such a way as to minimise any unacceptable disturbance or nuisance to the surrounding area. ”

Jennifer Tooke-Marchant, who created the petition, also shared her thoughts during the meeting.

She said: “Those trees are not just ecologically critical, they’re part of the history of Elmswell where they’ve been for so many years. It’s a beautiful bit of landscape with essential habitat for endangered animals in a country where our nature is just vanishing.

“The county council has responded that the losses are unfortunate but unavoidable, and I just think that’s not good enough.”

The county council’s response to the development’s ecological assessment states the proposed planting and restoration of the site post-operations, will ensure habitat loss is more than compensated for.

Jennifer also hosted a community walk to the trees on Sunday, February 11 before residents returned on Valentine’s Day to decorate the trees with love hearts.

Aggmax Transport Ltd was approached for comment.