Group gives up fight to stop gravel pit bid

Group gives up fight to stop gravel pit bid

Group gives up fight to stop gravel pit bid

First published in News

THEY have campaigned for 16 years and spent £80,000 of their own money in a bid to protect their environment.

Now hundreds of villagers fighting plans to turn a Hampshire farm into a giant gravel pit have finally thrown in the towel and conceded defeat.

It follows the approval of plans to extract more than 810,000 tonnes of sand and gravel from Downton Manor Farm in New Milton.

A Governmentappointed planning inspector gave it the goahead in October in a move that angered people living near the huge site.

They warned that a quiet corner of the New Forest would be blighted by noise, dust and extra traffic as a result of the decision.

But Hampshire County Council, which backed the objectors, has been advised that there are no legal grounds for challenging the inspector’s decision.

Downton and Milford Against Gravel Extraction (Damage) has also been forced to admit defeat.

Residents and businesses have fought the proposal since it was first put forward by New Milton Sand and Ballast (NMSB) in the early 1990s and have spent nearly £80,000 on legal representation at public inquiries.

The county council rejected the scheme and its decision was upheld after an eight-day public inquiry in 2007.

However, NMSB lodged an appeal with the High Court.

Earlier this year the Government quashed the original ruling and ordered the inquiry to be reopened.

Campaigners were stunned when the company was subsequently given permission to proceed with its plans.

Damage chairman Jim Sey said: “I’m deeply disappointed in the system, which allows people to come back time and again until they get the result they want.”

However, NMSB said the scheme would help the environment by eliminating the need to truck 100,000 tonnes of limestone from Somerset every year.

In a statement the company added: “Local gravel will be worked by a long-standing, professional, familyowned business with an excellent track record in community involvement.

“We intend to set up a community liaison committee to make sure local people have a say in how the site is worked.”

Comments (3)

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11:45am Sun 13 Dec 09

Jammy Donut says...

"They warned that a quiet corner of the New Forest would be blighted by noise, dust and extra traffic as a result of the decision"

SO WHAT ARE THE NPA DOING ?
No doubt prosicuting some old pensioner for letting her dog have a crap in her own garden or taking down childrens rides at Poultons Park. No doubt they will let Aldi build their mega site too.
"They warned that a quiet corner of the New Forest would be blighted by noise, dust and extra traffic as a result of the decision" SO WHAT ARE THE NPA DOING ? No doubt prosicuting some old pensioner for letting her dog have a crap in her own garden or taking down childrens rides at Poultons Park. No doubt they will let Aldi build their mega site too. Jammy Donut
  • Score: 0

2:32pm Sun 13 Dec 09

Andy Locks Heath says...

The consolation here is that the actual gravel extraction will not be anywhere near as intrusive as the protesters feared. Time and again we've seen "Residents Against......" groups spring up and in their meetings they pile fear upon fear image upon image until we are faced with terrified placard waving pensioners convinced that the world they know is about to end. There are gravel pits amongst us already and we often drive past them without knowing they are there thanks to screening, anti noise and anti dust measures. As for the road traffic issue the demand for sand gravel and ballast doesn't go away so you have just as much gravel traffic on the road - you are only increasing the tonne-kilometre which of course incrases the carbon footprint so the actual environmental and traffic issues are worse not better. Heavy aggregates should be sourced close to their market. Like it or not there is a lot of building on the south coast and building needs materials.
Isn't it funny how people despise the interference of the NPA one minute then the next minute go running to it for protection? That's Little England for you.
The consolation here is that the actual gravel extraction will not be anywhere near as intrusive as the protesters feared. Time and again we've seen "Residents Against......" groups spring up and in their meetings they pile fear upon fear image upon image until we are faced with terrified placard waving pensioners convinced that the world they know is about to end. There are gravel pits amongst us already and we often drive past them without knowing they are there thanks to screening, anti noise and anti dust measures. As for the road traffic issue the demand for sand gravel and ballast doesn't go away so you have just as much gravel traffic on the road - you are only increasing the tonne-kilometre which of course incrases the carbon footprint so the actual environmental and traffic issues are worse not better. Heavy aggregates should be sourced close to their market. Like it or not there is a lot of building on the south coast and building needs materials. Isn't it funny how people despise the interference of the NPA one minute then the next minute go running to it for protection? That's Little England for you. Andy Locks Heath
  • Score: 0

9:02am Mon 14 Dec 09

Boatman says...

"SO WHAT ARE THE NPA DOING ?"

Almost certainly nothing since the site is not within the National Park boundary :-)
"SO WHAT ARE THE NPA DOING ?" Almost certainly nothing since the site is not within the National Park boundary :-) Boatman
  • Score: 0

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