Barming Parish Council has sent an email to KCC planning applications to say that they "would like to see the application refused".
The full text is below (thanks to Fay Gooch, Chairman, Barming Parish Council, for permitting its use here):
Sent: 07 September 2010 09:24
Subject: TM/10/TEMP/0025- Gallagher Aggregates Ltd
Thank you for consulting with Barming Parish Council on this application. The Council has considered the application and would like to see the application Refused for the following reasons:
The proposed area is designated as ancient woodland by various reputable organisations including the Kent Wildlife Trust. There are areas of TPOs within the woodland and some oak trees are reputedly over 100 years in age. The destruction of such an important habitat site is not justified to create a new quarry.
The lives of many existing species of wildlife will be put at risk. The phased working & restoration programme assumes the wildlife will exist in newly planted woodland. Given that it takes seven years for trees to be of wildlife value, the first phase will not be sufficiently re-established by the time the next phase is quarried. Neither can it be certain that the wildlife will somehow transfer itself to the relocation site. The destruction of the woodland will unbalance the eco-system of the whole of Oaken Wood and will change the landscape irrevocably. GAL have not demonstrated that the proposed benefits of restoration override the need to safeguard the nature conservation value of the site – enjoyed and appreciated by many local residents – or that adverse impacts of workings can be adequately compensated.
The Council believes this application should be treated as a new application rather than an extension to the existing quarry, because it is the working of a new site.
The Council is very mindful of local residents concerns of noise and dust of operations continuing for a further 25 years, and in particular of the accumulative effects of blasting on their homes, as clearly expressed at the public meeting at Barming School in June. This issue has not been addressed within the proposal documents.
For these reasons Barming Parish Council does not support this application.
However, if the County Planning Authority is minded to approve the application, Barming Parish Council would wish to see the following additional conditions imposed:
a) Satisfactory safety fencing and signage around the perimeter of the site being worked;
b) Land to be restored to original levels and contours.
c) Monitoring of pace of return of wildlife on the restored land at regular intervals by an independent body such as Kent Wildlife Trust.
d) An appropriate and enforceable S106 agreement to secure the completion of site restoration;
e) Controls over noise and vibrations from the machinery currently 7.00am-5.30pm.
f) No maintenance to be carried out at weekends or bank holidays; week day working hours not to be increased.
g) Strict adherence to weekday working hours
h) Extension of the bund in the corner nearest North Pole Road to further mitigate noise and dust levels and the effects of blasting
i) Increase perimeter stand off from 50 to70 metres to further mitigate noise and dust levels and the effects of blasting
j) Controls over blasting times
k) Monitor and change direction of blasting to reduce air over pressure
l) Delay blasting on cloudy days to reduce air over pressure
Clerk Barming PC
Posted on Thu, September 9, 2010
by Jon Cunningham