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Uttoxeter councillor call for quarry ‘payback’

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A TOWN hall boss wants ‘payback’ from the bosses of Uttoxeter Quarry before they are allowed to double the size of their operation.

The Post and Times revealed in early June that Aggregate Industries were in talks at county and borough level to expand its 100-hectare Spath site by 87 hectares.

The site’s life was due to end in 2013 but Aggregate got planning approval to extend it until 2016.

And, if the new proposed expansion is ratified by Staffordshire County Council, excavation will continue up to 2024.

This will further delay plans to transform the site into sports facilities and a leisure park, complete with sailing lake, when it has been fully mined of its minerals.

And town councillor Martin Blencowe is starting to wonder if he will see the new facilities ‘in his lifetime’.

He said: “When it started, there was a time limit and that just seems to get extended and extended.

“Andrew Griffiths was in discussion with Uttoxeter Cricket Club and football clubs about taking the land for sports use, but that was put on hold when their turbine application was entered.

“Now they want to extend the quarry.

“As for the leisure facilities everyone was promised, I’m wondering if my children will ever see them come to fruition, let alone entertaining the thought that I made get to enjoy them.

“What I’d say to Aggregate Industries is that you’ve taken what you were going to take and now you’re taking more as well.

“But we want some pay back in the form of our leisure facilities.

“There must be some mechanism in place with the planning authority saying that they can only have their planning permission if they give back and deliver what we’ve been promised.

“It’s a case of them getting everything and us getting nothing at the minute.”

Aggregate’s application is in response to the county council canvassing for firms to ramp up mineral extraction in the next 15 years.

A spokesman for Aggregate said: “We are not currently seeking planning permission to extend the quarry, we have merely responded to a request from the County Council to identify potential sites for quarry extension.

“The sand and gravel quarried from our site in Uttoxeter plays an integral part in construction projects across the region and having a secure supply of minerals is critical to rebuilding our economy and providing desperately needed infrastructure such as new housing.

“Whilst we appreciate the effect a quarry can have on neighbours we do our utmost to mitigate any impacts and hold frequent liaisons with the community, which councillors regularly attend.”

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