MINING plans previously described as being “cruel”, “horrendous” and “upsetting” will now go ahead after diggers made changes to a controversial quarry application.
Summerleaze, a gravel and sand supplier, will be allowed to extend its stay at East Burnham Quarry, where it has permission to continue mining up to 2024.
Their proposal to stretch their site permission for more than four years was deferred at a Buckinghamshire Council planning meeting last month after councillors decided measures put in place to limit noise from the site were not good enough.
This came after one resident, who lives at one of the few properties close to the site, told the Strategic Sites committee in June that the noise from the quarry’s wheel spinner and from lorries driving to and from the pit was “horrendous and upsetting”.
She added: “Four more years without remedy is simply cruel.”
Following the deferral, the applicants engaged in discussions with Bucks planning bosses about how they could improve their efforts to limit disturbance to residents.
A refreshed application indicated Summerleaze was prepared to:
Build a double panelled acoustic fence with a length of 75m along the haul road
Tarmac a section of the quarry haul road extending from just beyond the site entrance to the entrance of the riding stables “as a gesture of goodwill” which would serve to reduce the noise from vehicles further
Construct an acoustic barrier to the south of the site’s wheel spinner measuring 16.5m in length and 3m in height
Councillor Santokh Chhokar, who sits on the committee, welcomed the changes.
He said: “At the last meeting, I was, like a lot of other colleagues, quite taken aback because the principle was permission had been granted for a certain term and residents had basically accepted that situation, and now, there’s a further extension.
“But over the last three or four weeks, it looks like they [the applicants] have tried to take account of the situation.
“It shows that this committee does get listened to but I do think it would be very good if applicants generally tried to take that extra mile to look at it from the residents’ point of view and say ‘what can we do to really get them on board?’
“I would also say to our officers please push those [applicants] as far as reasonable.”
All councillors sitting on the committee except one, Councillor George Sandy, voted in favour of the revised application.
Speaking before the vote, he said: “I’ve been to the quarry, I’ve seen the situation and it is all about the noise the people in Fox Cottage and Deepwood House have to suffer.
“The reality here is we are talking about gravel trucks traversing the haul road.
“So they tear along there with a great deal of noise.
“It is a real nuisance these people will have to bear for the next four years.”
The committee met virtually on Thursday, July 9.