Members of the Stop Bengeo Quarry campaign and County Councillor Andrew Stevenson met with local MP Mark Prisk on Friday 10th March, ahead of the HCC meeting which will decide whether the planning application will be approved.

Right to left Libby Mountford, School Governor for Bengeo Primary School, Mark Lynch,Chairman of Bengeo Neighbourhood Plan, Mark Prisk, MP, Andrew Stevenson, County Councillor, Tanya Needham, and Aska Pickering, Chairman of the Stop Bengeo Quarry campaign.

Mark Prisk has been an active supporter of the campaign from the beginning and re-emphasised that he shares the campaigners’ concerns about water contamination, air pollution also the loss of landscape and amenity.

Mark and Andrew are both particularly concerned about the risk of water contamination and believe that the Environment Agency’s advice that the quarry operator should simply monitor for pollution is seriously flawed. They intend to write again to the Environment Agency to stress this point and to present the highly critical geological assessments the campaign has received.

Stop Bengeo Quarry campaign members raised the point that our local community has suffered the blight of quarrying over a very long period of time and that it seems far too easy for quarry operators to ignore their commitments, particularly in regard to restoration. We also agreed the current minerals landbank was more than sufficient to meet demand and as a consequence there is no need for another quarry.

Finally, we examined what could be done to prevent future quarrying applications being submitted in relation to this site in Bengeo, possibly by presenting a strong case when the new Minerals Local Plan is consulted on in the summer. The top priority at present, however, is to ensure that the current quarry proposal is refused.

Photo by Steve Beeston Photography