Last chance to have your say on plans to extend Grovebury Quarry near Leighton Buzzard

The deadline to submit comments is April 16
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Don't miss the deadline for having your say on controversial expansion plans for Grovebury Quarry near Leighton Buzzard.

An application to extend the site, previously earmarked for a waterside park, have met with strong opposition with Central Beds Council planning documents revealing 81 objections and just two responses in favour.

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People now have until April 16 to submit responses to the plans.

Grovebury Quarry lake and islandGrovebury Quarry lake and island
Grovebury Quarry lake and island

Residents are concerned expansion plans could mean the quarry remaining operational for another decade with a detrimental effect on the environment and people’s health. And Billington Parish Council says some people should be entitled to compensation for a reduction in the the value of homes affected by the development.

The parish council states: “In the event that the application is approved residents of Little Billington will experience direct financial losses due to the reduction in property values. This is unfair on the residents who purchased properties without any knowledge a working quarry could materialise so close to the village boundary.”

Grovebury Quarry has been operational since the 1920s with Aggregate Industries UK Ltd wanting to expand its operations to the south of the quarry lake, citing a ‘national need for silica sand’.

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But Billington parish councillor, Ian Stoner-Redfern, says the site would come “within 150 metres of some people's gardens” if the expansion is approved, as reported in the Leighton Buzzard Observer.

And Philip Spicer, councillor Eaton Bray ward, argues that there is no sustainability information available to reduce the impact on the land and green belt and local residents.

He said: “Previous quarrying licensing in the Leighton Buzzard area has offered recreation /water sports facilities, as of yet none of these projects have been realised. This is due to the quarry companies moth-balling the sites without completing the quarry licence and therefore not having to fulfill the requirements of the planning application and completing the recreational obligations of the permission.

“It is imperative that the leisure / water sports facilities is up and running before any extraction of sand and gravel for commercial use is permitted on this site. This will offset the great harm to the green belt and visual impact to the residents of Great Billington and Leighton-Linslade.

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He added: “A further study of wildlife and biodiversity should be undertaken every five years to understand how the area is coping with the effects of quarrying with the damage to the biodiversity and wildlife and how this can limit the impact and improve the area for future generations.”

Cllr Emma Holland-Lindsay, Leighton Linslade South, believes the development could have a negative impact on the landscape for years

She said: ”I believe that given the site is in the Green Belt, and much of the land to be developed is currently undisturbed, the development would negatively impact the environment. I also believe the development will have a negative impact on the ‘open aspect’ of the land at the site.”

Andrew Selous, MP for South West Bedfordshire said: “I very much understand the concerns of Billington residents and have asked Aggregate Industries to mitigate their plans by moving the works further away from people’s homes. I am also pressing for the earliest possible restoration of the site for leisure and recreational use for Leighton Buzzard residents as well.”