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West Deeping residents protest against Breedon quarry plans





Villagers took to the streets chanting “enough is enough” in protest against a proposed sand and gravel quarry.

Around 100 people lined King Street in West Deeping on Monday night to show their opposition to the plans from construction materials company Breedon.

They were supported by Conservative MP candidate for South Holland and The Deepings, Sir John Hayes, and South Kesteven District Council leader Ashley Baxter (Independent).

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

As part of an update to Lincolnshire County Council’s minerals and waste local plan, several locations have been shortlisted as “preferred sites” for mining sand, gravel and limestone.

However, the location known as SG17, situated on land to the south of the A1175 in West Deeping, has caused a stir among locals for a number of weeks due to concerns about the quarry’s proximity and its potential impact on the Grade II listed Molecey Mill and the rest of the village.

Conservative MP candidate Sir John Hayes joined the protest. Photo: James Turner
Conservative MP candidate Sir John Hayes joined the protest. Photo: James Turner

While the council’s consultation on the minerals plan has been put on hold as not all documents were available for review when brought to the executive, Breedon organised a public exhibition in the village hall on Monday evening to consult the community on its plans. The proposal would replace its existing operation in West Deeping, incorporating a new plant site and new access.

Councillor Glenn Fuller, chairman of West Deeping Parish Council, claimed the village had already been 50% mined and this new quarry would increase that to 75%.

He said: “We’ve put up with quarries in the village for about 70 years, and our parish is now 50% mined. Breedon wants to take this up to 75%.”

Coun Fuller insisted that the new quarry will come within 10 metres of his garden and will “immensely” impact the water level in the connecting River Welland.

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

“[Breedon] keep telling fibs to try and bamboozle everybody into accepting this to be a lovely green quarry, but having lived across the road from it for a number of years, we know exactly what it’s going to be like,” he added.

“It’s just not fair to the villagers and their quality of life. We moved here because we wanted to live in the countryside and they are turning the countryside into an industrial plant.”

Addressing the crowd outside the village hall, Conservative MP candidate Sir John Hayes said: “There are four reasons why we have to fight this – this is an industrial development in a rural community. That will affect air quality and noise, imagine the number of vehicles that are going to come to and from this site once it’s developed.

“Thirdly, you have the issue of water and water management. I just don’t believe they have done proper work on the effect of this on the river and the mill stream. I just don’t believe it’s been properly examined or considered.

One protester tried to persuade a representative for Breedon to address the crowd outside but they refused. Photo: James Turner
One protester tried to persuade a representative for Breedon to address the crowd outside but they refused. Photo: James Turner

“Finally, and this is important too, we either want to be surrounded by green space or we don’t. Do we care about what was once called the green and pleasant land or are we going to industrialise the whole of the countryside?

“I’m currently fighting pylons, I’m fighting solar, I’m fighting for Mill Field in Market Deeping to be reserved as a green space, and I’m just as enthusiastically fighting this.”

Shortly after, the crowd started to move into the village hall to give their thoughts on the plans. However, Breedon insisted that the building had a 25-person capacity and could only allow people who had booked into the exhibition inside.

One protester tried to persuade a representative for the company to address the crowd outside, but they ultimately refused, leaving a large number of locals unable to access the exhibition.

SKDC leader Ashley Baxter criticised the company’s approach to consulting the community. He said, “It’s a bit bizarre that you organise a consultation event for people to be consulted on what’s going to happen in the village and then you deny them access to the exhibition.

“It seems to me that either they should have rented the hall for longer or they should have found a way to display it elsewhere.

“This is not a particularly effective way of organising a consultation. Letting in 25 people at a time is mainly about divide and rule so they can manage who has been in and what information is given.”

When asked to speak to a representative from Breedon, the company initially said they needed to prioritise speaking to concerned residents first. However, after the crowd dispersed after an hour, they then refused to comment.

Sor John Hayes is the Conservative candidate for the forthcoming election. The other candidates standing for South Holland and The Deepings are Paul Hilliar (Labour), Jack Braginton (Liberal Democrats), Rhys Baker (Green), Mark Le Sage (Independent) and Matt Swainson (Reform).



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