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Fritton quarry petition tops 14,000

PUBLISHED: 15:40 02 October 2008 | UPDATED: 11:55 03 July 2010

Campaigners aiming to fight off a quarry threat at Fritton are due today to hand in a 14,000 signature petition to county hall in Norwich.

They want bosses to drop the scheme to carve up wild-life rich woodland and have vowed to lobby decision makers until the end.

Campaigners aiming to fight off a quarry threat at Fritton are due today to hand in a 14,000 signature petition to county hall in Norwich.

They want bosses to drop the scheme to carve up wild-life rich woodland and have vowed to lobby decision makers until the end.

After months of campaigning people involved in an action group set up to fight the proposal to extract sand and gravel from the woodland hope they have done enough to wipe it off a list of more than 100 sites, put forward as possible locations.

The proposal sparked an outcry in April with villagers raising a range of concerns from loss of amenity to the impact on wildlife, ecology and the local road network.

Now they hope officers will see sense and advise against the scheme.

Jan Burton, who lives in Fritton, said the total number of signatures massively exceeded the amount they were handing if petitions on Facebook and the government website were taken in to account and that people were signing right up until the deadline.

More than 7000 names had been gathered in shops and businesses alone proving the strength of feeling she said. Alongside the names campaigners have gathered a dossier of evidence to further support their case for saving the woods drawing on historic and environmental assessments from experts.

On Wednesday she was still gathering pages of names from local shops which had been coming in at a rate of around 1000 a week over 10 weeks.

She said: “This involves Norfolk and Suffolk. When I look at some of the addresses its amazing how far people travel. Why we are up in arms more so than anyone else is because if it goes through and is given planning permission it will mean the loss of amenity and of woodland and in today's climate that is not something anyone should even think about. We do not want it to go through as a preferred option. We have done all we can in the time that we have had.”

The county council is also looking at more than 60 possible sites for waste management sites to help meet government recycling targets by 2016.

A council spokesman said: “We want to plan for mineral and waste development in a way that minimises adverse impacts and maximises potential positive impacts.”

The petition will be handed over by Great Yarmouth Tony Wright at 3pm.

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