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Action group to fight quarry plan

PUBLISHED: 16:18 26 June 2008 | UPDATED: 11:18 03 July 2010

ANGRY villagers have formed an action group to fight off a quarry threat that would sweep away a popular wood and destroy the haven for generations.

Dozens of villagers packed into St Olaves Village Hall on Friday to hear about proposals for Fritton - one of 105 sand and gravel pits being considered by Norfolk County Council.

ANGRY villagers have formed an action group to fight off a quarry threat that would sweep away a popular wood and destroy the haven for generations.

Dozens of villagers packed into St Olaves Village Hall on Friday to hear about proposals for Fritton - one of 105 sand and gravel pits being considered by Norfolk County Council.

And a petition is attracting pages of signatures from people who fear the prospect will end public access to Waveney Forest, generate lorry movements and affect house

prices.

Campaign leader Rowland Dunn said the meeting at St Olaves Village Hall proved the groundswell of opinion was robustly opposed to the plan and that opposition was heating up as word was spreading. Eleven people have signed up to form an action committee.

Retired commodity broker Mr

Dunn moved to New Road two years ago and enjoys his location on the doorstep of Waveney Forest where

he can walk his dogs. He found out about the quarry plan two days

before the first round of consultation ended on April 25 and is hoping to stoke up a head of hostility to bat it back.

The proposal at Fritton is close to the A143 at Haddiscoe and is among 105 being considered by Norfolk County Council to help supply three million tonnes of raw materials a year for housebuilding. Land at Haddiscoe is also earmarked putting extra pressure on roads.

Martin Robeson Planning Practice, on behalf of Newcombe Estates Company, is proposing a sand and gravel extraction pit on the 132.59-acre site, half of which lies within the Broads Authority area, which has a designation equivalent to a national park and takes in a large swathe of private woodland.

Breydon Water and Halvergate marshes are within 2km of the

site.

Mr Dunn has pinned notices in the wood asking for emailed comments in support of the campaign which he will collate. He said the woodland attracted families and dogwalkers from Caister to Lowestoft and acted as an outdoor classroom for youngsters keen to learn about nature.

Peter Warner, head of planning at Great Yarmouth Borough Council, said the forest was ultimately a commercial crop, adding: “I would anticipate that Norfolk County Council will assess all the sites that are being put forward into those with the right type of resources and closest to the markets. They will then make a decision as to whether it is a preferred option.”

The county council expects to consult on its way suggested way forward - the preferred option stage - in November.

To support Mr Dunn's campaign email far2008@hotmail.co.uk

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