People urged to object to Cemex quarry plan at Baston’s Thetford Farm Estate
People are being asked to ramp up objections to a planned quarry before a decision deadline.
With only days to go before the consultation period ends on a sand and gravel quarry application by Cemex, residents of Baston and the surrounding areas met to discuss opposition tactics.
More than 100 people have already submitted objections to Lincolnshire County Council’s planning department but with 649 homes in Baston, members of the parish council are keen for greater community involvement to block the proposed quarry on Thetford Farm Estate land, north-west of their village.
‘Dangerous’ dust particulates near the village primary school, additional HGVs on the A15, increased noise pollution, and a potential effect on wildlife are among reasons people are being prompted to consider when responding to the plan, which was submitted to Lincolnshire County Council last month.
At their meeting in Baston Village Hall yesterday (Thursday, October 19), people were told the 83-hectare site, which could see 49 hectares of land dug up, was not on the Lincolnshire minerals and waste local plan, a document currently under review.
A similar aggregates quarry at West Deeping will become redundant next year and is to be restored and landscaped by Cemex once quarrying stops.
Chairing the public meeting, chairman of Baston Parish Council David Plant outlined the process of commenting on a planning application, stressing that people should stick to points about planning matters in their objection.
He expressed dismay that Lincolnshire Police had lodged no objection to the plans, and that Lincolnshire County Council’s highways department “rubber stamp anything put in front of them with no objections”.
He added: “Lorry movements will be hundreds a day five-a-half days a week, fifty weeks a year for twenty years.”
Martin Wynne, who was involved in vehicles management for the RAF during his career, questioned the value of a transport safety assessment submitted by Cemex with its application because he did not feel it was an independent assessment.
Having consulted the RAF’s weather data, Martin also questioned references to prevailing winds blowing up from the south-west, which would carry dust away from the village.
“The prevailing winds from the south-west only happen about 265 days a year. For the other 100 days it can blow down from the north,” he said.
Parents of children at Baston Primary School attended the meeting to outline concerns about dust from the quarry.
One, who is also a teacher at another school, said: “I think it is disgraceful that dust could end up coming over where the children are playing.
“We have a responsibility to children of this village and from other villages who attend the school. I would not want to teach in a classroom where there was so much noise and dust coming over. I think it’s appalling that something like this is even being considered so close to a school.”
She added that they should commission an independent report to look into potential particulate levels. One has been conducted under Cemex’s lead, but many at the meeting felt it monitored the wrong places and so did not give an accurate picture.
The parish council had invited three local MPs, all Conservatives, to attend the meeting.
John Hayes, who represents the Deepings, responded to say he would not get involved in an issue outside his constituency.
At the next general election, Alicia Kearns, current MP for Rutland, could become MP for a new constituency that includes Stamford, Langtoft, Thurlby and Baston. She replied by letter and, because she was abroad with the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, sent a representative who spoke at the meeting to offer advice and support.
Gareth Davies, current MP for Stamford and Bourne, including Baston, did not acknowledge the council’s invitation.
At the meeting, people were invited to contact their MP to express their views, and to lobby members of the planning committee at Lincolnshire County Council, who will determine the outcome of the application next year.
The planning application is on Lincolnshire County Council’s website with the reference PL/0070/23. It can be found at: tinyurl.com/BastonQuarry
People can view documents relating to the application and submit their comments before November 12.
Deeping St James Parish Council and Bourne Town Council are understood to have lodged their objections to the plans.
Cemex was invited to comment on the meeting.