Fritton quarry campaigners head to Norwich
Villagers fighting plans to chop down a large part of a picturesque wood in Fritton to make way for a quarry have taken their campaign to Norwich.
Villagers fighting plans to chop down a large part of a picturesque wood to make way for a quarry have taken their campaign to Norwich.
About 27,000 people have objected to the inclusion of Waveney Forest, also known as Fritton Woods, on a list of possible gravel and mineral extraction sites in the county.
At the steps at County Hall residents, of Fritton, near Great Yarmouth, and Yarmouth MP Brandon Lewis handed over the latest list of petition names, 1840 signatures, and a booklet summarising a whole range of objections to council leader Daniel Cox yesterday morning.
The 326 acre forest is the only wooded leisure area for the Yarmouth and Waveney area and is popular with dog walkers and families.
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'Save our woods' campaigners fear if large swathes of it are replaced with a quarry it will lead to more lorries rumbling along the A143, a loss of wildlife and cause noise and dust problems.
Following the petition handover, the campaigners said they were optimistic Waveney Forest would be removed from the final extraction site list which will be published early next year.
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Keith Nunn, chairman of Fritton Parish Council, said: 'After meeting Mr Cox I am quite hopeful.
'If the voice of the people is paramount in politics then what clearer message can we send out than with our petition, which now has more than 27,000 names and a book detailing all our objections.'
If County Hall fails to remove Waveney Forest from the quarry list Mr Nunn said he would apply for the woods to be protected under village green status and ask for it to be declared as an amenity by Yarmouth Borough Council in order to try and save it.
Two years ago the county council asked landowners and quarry operators to provide suggestions of areas for extraction sites to meet government requirements for the supply of aggregate for the next decade.
Waveney Forest was one of more than 100 sites across the county included on a list for a possible quarry with Bretts Aggregates, based in Kent, submitting plans for the woods in December.