Quarry wins vote to expand

CONTROVERSIAL plans to increase storage at a quarry near Cheddar have been given the go-ahead.

CONTROVERSIAL plans to increase storage at a quarry near Cheddar have been given the go-ahead.

At a regulation committee at Somerset County Hall in Taunton, 10 members voted to allow the planning application by Batts Combe Quarry to build three soil storage areas, even though one of them was established some time ago without permission.

The soil stores will be to the north of the stone quarry site, which is run by Hanson Aggregates.

The soil will be stored in the three areas after it has been removed before minerals are extracted from the site. It will then be used to restore the quarry complex, which lies to the north of Cheddar and the gorge, off Warrens Hill Road.

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A report presented to the committee said no soil will be removed from the site.

Conditions were imposed on the planning permission being granted, including a minimal amount of noise levels, work and operations are only to take place from 7am-5pm on weekdays and 7am-1pm on Saturdays and the development has to start within three years.

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The news comes after Cheddar Parish Council raised concerns about the visual impact the development would have. Objections were also received from the Mendip Society, a group that looks after the surrounding hills. A letter from the chairman asked for the application to be refused and two letters were received from one individual on the grounds of the impact on the landscape and the Mendip Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

Several other authorities such as Sedgemoor District Council, the Environment Agency and the Mendip Hills AONB Partnership were all contacted but no objections were raised.

Only one member of the regulation committee voted against the proposals.

* What do you think about the development? Log on to www.thewestonmercury.co.uk and tell us.

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