Keith Taylor MEP calls for public health assessment of proposed quarry development in letter to Kent County Council
The Green Euro-MP for Maidstone and the South East is supporting local campaigners in their efforts to halt plans to turn 74 acres of ancient woodland into a quarry.
A major planning application proposed by Gallagher Aggregates Limited (1) calls for an extension of Hermitage Quarry in Maidstone across ancient woodland and a local wildlife site. Angry local residents have launched a campaign to protect the land from destruction (http://www.saveoakenwood.co.uk/).
In a letter to Kent County Council, Keith Taylor MEP highlights his concerns that once bulldozed, the precious woodland would be lost forever.
He said: "There is neither enough policy guidance nor impact details at this stage of the application, and I believe any approval decision would be highly premature."
Keith continued: "To properly safeguard the wellbeing of the area's residents, I also think a full public health impact assessment of the project should be included with any future planning application.
"These quarry extension plans have caused significant anxiety amongst local people. Residents have already endured 20 years of quarrying on that site and do not want to see the area's natural habitats further endangered just so materials for yet more road building can be produced.
"The parish council, the Woodland Trust and CPRE have also raised serious objections to the proposed development. The environmental consequences are clear and even the economic case for quarrying ragstone and aggregate seems poor given the current climate."
Notes to Editors
1) TM/10/TEMP/0025 - http://www.kent.gov.uk/environment_and_planning/planning_in_kent/planning_applications/major_applications.aspx
For more information on the work of Keith Taylor MEP, please contact Melissa Freeman on 0207 407 9935 / 07950 382149 or firstname.lastname@example.org