Costessey quarry plans spark opposition

Sam EmanuelA controversial application to extend a quarry near a new housing development has sparked opposition.Sam Emanuel

A controversial application to extend a quarry near a new housing development has sparked opposition.

The plans for a three-year sand and gravel extraction on land north of the River Tud, as an extension to Costessey Quarry, include the construction of a 1.9km haul route and 24-metre bailey bridge crossing the river.

South Norfolk Council, which has been asked to comment on the calculation, has calculated that the distance from the proposed extraction site to the nearest house would be just 76-metres, with a distance of 67-metres from the site to the nearest garden.

Concerns have been raised that the development, which will be debated by a Norfolk County Council committee later this year, could cause people living on the Queen's Hills estate noise nuisance, dust and disturbance, with many more lorry movements, because the developers are planning a 125,000-tonne annual output.

Tim East, who is county, district and parish councillor for Costessey, is one of the people concerned about the proposals.

He said: 'I'm not sure that this kind of mineral extraction is appropriate next to a new and developing housing development. These applications, once approved, are invariably extended beyond the three-year application period - they are likely to keep reapplying every three years and it could go on forever.

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'If they can assure everybody that there will definitely not be any sort of dust, noise or disturbance, that will be okay, but until it goes before Norfolk County Council, we won't know.'

South Norfolk Council objected to the plans when they were first submitted in 2008, saying that the council's environmental services department had raised fundamental concerns about the proposals relating to noise and dust pollution, and the quarry's potentially detrimental impact on wildlife and the landscape of the Tud and Wensum valleys.

But applicants CEMEX UK say that the estates will be visually shielded from the quarry by topsoil bunds.

A CEMEX spokesman confirmed that the application was the same as the one submitted in 2008, but with additional information to clarify points raised through the initial consultation process.

A Norfolk County Council spokesman said an assessment of the application was on-going and it was not known when a decision would be made.

Are you fighting development in the area where you live? Call reporter Kate Scotter on 01603 772326 or email