Plans for a new quarry near the M50 have hit the rocks after council chiefs decided to turn down plans for an access road – leading to applause from concerned locals.
Moreton C Cullimore wanted permission from Gloucestershire County Council for a new access off the A38, a weighbridge, office, processing plant for a sand and gravel quarry to be built on land at Bow Farm in Twyning, near the M5 and M50.
However, the proposals which also included a concrete batching plant, the creation of clean water ponds, silt ponds and stock piles at the 160-acre site were met with strong opposition from hundreds of residents.
The plans were rejected, and people in the public gallery at the council meeting applauded the decision.
A total of 257 people objected, raising concerns over noise, the health and environmental impact of dust generated at the site and the impact it would have on nearby businesses such as Hilton Puckrup Hall Hotel. Some 72 people wrote in support.
Hotel general manager Ahmet Donmez said the viability of the hall, which brings tens of thousands of people to the area, would be put at risk by a new quarry.
He said Puckrup Hall generates an estimated £4 million in revenue for the area and said the 200 jobs at the hotel could be lost if the plans were approved.
Moreton Cullimore, who called on the committee to approve the scheme, spoke of how important the plans are for his business.
He said the family-owned business employs people who live within a 10 to 15 mile radius of the workplace and most of their customers and suppliers are from Gloucestershire.
Cullimore is conscientious and understands the concerns of those living and working near Bow Farm, he told the planning committee at Shire Hall on January 26.
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He said: “We believe our application addresses those concerns. If the application is successful, it will allow us to maintain and grow our staff and other business over the next decade. The application is important for the very immediate future of our business and our employees.
“Our revenue is generated and kept in the local economy, unlike some of our competitors operating nearby. The raw materials we extract are primary resources for all construction, be it infrastructure, homes, schools, retail and businesses. The A417 missing link, Tewkesbury development and Cheltenham development.”
Gloucestershire County Councillor Cate Cody (G, Tewkesbury), who represents the area, called for it to be refused.
She said the council had declared a climate emergency and it was “inconceivable” that a concrete batching plant should be approved. There are deer, badger, otters, many birds, insects and wildflowers in the area and their habitat would be bulldozed should the plans go ahead, she said.
The quarry plans over the county border in Ripple had been approved by Worcestershire County Council in October last year.
And planning officers in Gloucestershire had recommended approval. But Councillor Chris McFarling (G, Tidenham) proposed rejecting the scheme due to the climate emergency and the impact it would have on the economy.
This was seconded by Coun Bernie Fisher (LD, St Paul’s and Swindon) and the committee voted to reject the scheme. The public gallery erupted in applause as the decision was announced.