Mark Garnier fully supports the local community and the campaign to STOP THE QUARRY at Lea Castle Farm. For full information on the local campaign Group and how you can get involved click here
Quarry plans rejected by the County Council
Mark has welcomed the decision by the County Council to reject the planning application for a quarry at he old Lea Castle site between Cookley and Wolverley.
Commenting on the decision, Mark said:
Despite the planning officers recommending for approval, the committee clearly listened to the views of residents and threw the application out.
This is a brilliant example of a community coming together to protect the values of that community. I have worked with them in a supportive capacity for a couple of years, but it is the fantastic leadership, and the incredible hard work of the team who have won this amazing result. And to be honest, I expected the committee to bend to legal arguments of the planning officers and grant the application.
Whilst hoping for the best, but preparing for the worse, I had asked the Secretary of State to consider calling in any approval for a public consultation and it still may be the case that they applicants appeal the decision, which would result in a public hearing.
In the meantime, I am working with cross party colleagues to change the laws on how much dust is acceptable around communities. We need to make the future certain for the residents of our communities. Change the law and we stop quarrying amidst communities once and for all.
Mark has written to Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities to oppose the Lea Castle Farm Quarry. His letter to the Minister can be seen below:
TO: Rt Hon Michael Gove MP
Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities
Sent by email
Dear Secretary of State,
Following from the previous letter, making very clear my objections to the Planning Application for Lea Castle Farm Quarry in Kidderminster, I wanted to make you aware that there are now even further reasons why the Planning Application should not be approved. In my last letter, I urged you to call in the Planning Application, in the case that it was approved, for a Public Enquiry, and I continue to urge you to do so.
The Lea Castle Farm Quarry Planning Application is due before the Worcestershire County Council’s Planning Committee next Wednesday, 25th May 2022. The Planning Officers have recommended that the Application should be approved.
Since I last wrote to you, the Wyre Forest District Council have approved their Local Plan. As part of the Plan, the Council are building 6,000 more homes adjacent to the proposed Lea Castle Farm Quarry. As the Local Plan was not approved at the time of submission of the Planning Application, these 6,000 more houses, and therefore around 18,000 more people, have not been considered when recommending approval for the Application. Had this been accounted for in consideration, I daresay there would not have been a recommendation to approve this Application.
Furthermore, the Economic Impact Statement that was submitted with the Planning Application reads that the Lea Castle Farm Quarry will create local jobs for the area. I respectfully disagree with this analysis, as the Economic Impact Statement fails to take into account two things:
- The job losses that will be incurred by local schools. Having a quarry so close to a children’s school will inevitably see parents moving their children to a different school due to the noise, the pollution and the traffic that will result from the quarry.
- The Leigh Castle Farm site is a beautiful attraction, and general tourism will suffer, as will surrounding local businesses, again due to the noise, the pollution and the traffic that will result from the quarry.
Secretary of State, should the Lea Castle Park Farm Quarry be approved at next Wednesday’s meeting, which unfortunately looks likely, I am urging you to please call this Planning Application in for a Public Enquiry. The Application not only fails to account for the increased housing that will be in the area, but dangerously threatens the quality of life for the surrounding children’s school, residents and businesses.
Your consideration is much appreciated,
Mark Garnier MP