Quarry petition handed in
Laura Bagshaw CAMPAIGNERS fighting a quarry threat at Fritton descended on County Hall in Norwich on Friday to deliver a 15,000-name petition to council officials. The lengthy petition calls on decision makers to withdraw plans to rip up Waveney Forest - one of more than 100 sites put forward as a possible location for a gravel pit.
CAMPAIGNERS fighting a quarry threat at Fritton descended on County Hall in Norwich on Friday to deliver a 15,000-name petition to council officials.
The lengthy petition calls on decision makers to withdraw plans to rip up Waveney Forest - one of more than 100 sites put forward as a possible location for a gravel pit.
It was handed over to Norfolk County Council by members of Fritton Action Rescue Group and Yarmouth MP Tony Wright.
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The council wants to extract sand and gravel from the scenic woodland to provide three million tonnes of material for houses, schools and roads in the next 15 years.
After months of campaigning, local people are hoping they have done enough to get the forest, a popular haunt for walkers, removed from the list.
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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.
Fritton woman Jan Burton said the total number of signatures had massively exceeded the amount they were handing over 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 7,000 names had been gathered in shops and businesses alone proving the strength of feeling she said.
“I think the council was shocked by the number of names we had on the petition,” she said.
“In fact I had 600 letters delivered on my doorstep asking to be added to the list.
“This is all about making more people in Norfolk and Suffolk aware of what may happen to this wonderful forest,” she added.
Campaigners have also gathered a dossier of evidence to further support their case for saving the wildlife haven - drawing on historic and environmental issues.
In August, county councillors in the Yarmouth area spoke out against the plans branding the idea “totally wrong”.
Norfolk County Council has received thousands of comments about the 100 sites put forward. A list of acceptable sites will be published next year and a final decision will be made in 2010.