Villagers delighted as quarry plans on county border rejected

Villagers who opposed plans for a sand and gravel quarry on the Worcestershire border say they’re delighted it won’t be going ahead.

Moreton C Cullimore had wanted to extract 1.5 million tons of material from Bow Farm in Ripple, near Upton Upon Severn.

The plan was approved by Worcestershire County Council in October but permission from Gloucestershire County Council was also needed to build an access road, weighbridge, office and processing plant.

Gloucestershire councillors turned down the proposal on Thursday (January 26) despite planning officers recommending it for approval.

A group of villagers opposed to the scheme, called REACT (Ripple Extraction Action Community Team) has been fighting it for more than three years.

READ MORE: Quarry plans near M50 rejected

“We worked really hard alongside other speakers and councillors to put our arguments to the planning committee members,” said REACT’s Nikki Reeves.

“We knew that the case against the planning application was very strong indeed, but we did not know if the planning committee would hear us as they had been directed by their planning officer, Marcus Sparrow, to approve the application.

“We are absolutely delighted that the planning committee showed real integrity and understood the risks to public health, the impact on the local economy and tourism, the noise levels and environmental impact of this nine-year quarrying application.”

‘The power of activists’

But even as the group breathes a sigh of relief, it has its eye on other, similar proposals.

“We are of course very aware that other quarry sites around the villages of Ripple and Uckinghall are also being proposed to Worcestershire County Council in the coming months,” she said. “Our area is particularly rich in sand and gravel.

“We will of course be objecting and striving to protect the quality of life that we are entitled to.

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“The dust that is produced as a result of quarrying is in fact silica particles which are proven to cause respiratory diseases such as lung cancer, COPD and heart failure. This is an on-going fight and we will not give up.”

District councillor Jeremy Owenson, who represents Ripple, said: “For me, this demonstrates the power of good local councillors and activists.

“I worked with the parish councillors in Twyning and the borough councillors in Tewkesbury to work out the strongest grounds to turn the application down, which was the impact to the local economy.”

Read More: Villagers delighted as quarry plans on county border rejected

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