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Construction firm Breedon defends West Deeping quarry plan at Lincolnshire County Council meeting





Construction materials company Breedon has defended its proposals to build a new sand and gravel quarry in West Deeping.

As part of an update to Lincolnshire County Council’s Minerals and Waste Local Plan, several locations across the county have been shortlisted as “preferred sites” for mining sand, gravel, and limestone.

One location, known as SG17, situated on land to the south of the A1175 in West Deeping, which would replace Breedon’s existing operation in the village, has caused a stir among locals for over a month now due to concerns about the quarry’s proximity and its potential impact on the Grade II listed Molecey Mill and the rest of the area.

Breedon's existing quarry & concrete plant in West Deeping. Photo: James Turner
Breedon's existing quarry & concrete plant in West Deeping. Photo: James Turner

Last month, around 100 local residents, supported by Conservative MP Sir John Hayes and members of South Kesteven District Council, gathered outside the village hall, where Breedon was holding a consultation event, to protest the proposed development. They argued that it would ruin their quality of life.

The main road into the village was also filled with posters and banners reading “Breedon’t destroy our village.”

During an Environment and Economy Scrutiny Committee meeting at Lincolnshire County Council today (Tuesday, July 9), Maria Cotton, planning and estates manager at Breedon Group, addressed the committee regarding the plans and the pushback they have received.

“With regard to the specifics of SG17, I would stress that the site is currently an allocated site within the Minerals and Waste plan dated December 2017,” she said.

The main road into the village was also filled with posters and banners reading "Bree-don't destroy our village". Photo: James Turner
The main road into the village was also filled with posters and banners reading "Bree-don't destroy our village". Photo: James Turner

“The plan proceeded through several rounds of consultation and independent examination by a government appointed planning inspector in accordance with due process. This due process is being carried out on this occasion.”

Ms Cotton continued: “Before a plan is adopted, it will be considered by independent appointed planning inspectors who will make recommendations.

“Breedon will continue to engage with the development plan process through all stages of the consultation and contend that it is the correct forum for the debate of detail rather than during this scrutiny committee.”

Maria later made a “procedural point,” insisting that it was unfair for the county council to allow West Deeping Parish Council to speak about the proposal at a previous meeting on May 28, as Breedon had not been invited nor made aware of their attendance.

“We reviewed the rules of the scrutiny committee set out in the council’s constitution in order to understand the process and we have also sought legal advice on this point and have been advised as follows,” she added.

Breedon held a consultation event at West Deeping Village Hall last month. Photo: James Turner
Breedon held a consultation event at West Deeping Village Hall last month. Photo: James Turner

“Allowing the parish council to address the committee on May 28 with a clear objective of trying to persuade the committee to recommend the removal of preferred site SG17 was procedurally unfair and potentially unlawful.

“It was not only unfair to Breedon as the promoter of SG17, but was also unfair to all parties interested in the draft Minerals and Waste plan.”

Councillor Ashley Baxter (Independent), leader of South Kesteven District Council, said it was ironic that the company was complaining about the parish council speaking at the previous meeting, saying: “It’s like Goliath complaining about David having a sling.”

Councillor Glenn Fuller, chairman of West Deeping Parish Council. Photo: James Turner
Councillor Glenn Fuller, chairman of West Deeping Parish Council. Photo: James Turner

Glenn Fuller, chairman of West Deeping Parish Council, highlighted that the villagers, who make up the “overwhelming opposition” to the plans, have lived with quarries on their doorstep for over 70 years. He noted that the new operation would significantly impact the River Welland running through Molecey Mill.

He also explained that the parish council has sought legal advice and has been informed that the council is making a “legal error” by including SG17 in its list of preferred sites due to the mill’s grade listing.

Nonetheless, committee chairman Coun Ian Carrington (Con) reassured members and attendees that “procedures have been in accordance with our constitution”.

While councillors sympathised with residents’ concerns, they were informed by officers that the update to the Minerals and Waste Local Plan would need to go out to public consultation before any site could be de-allocated.

With this in mind, members voted in favour of moving the plan forward, with an eight-week consultation over the summer and into September, although this will be subject to final approval from the council’s executive at its meeting next week.



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