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Residents' concerns over plans to expand Whitewall Quarry in Norton
2:28pm Wednesday 25th September 2013 in News
A GROUP of residents have expressed concerns that plans to expand Whitewall Quarry in Norton will led to an increase in pollution and lorry movements.
W Clifford Watts Ltd has applied for planning permission to install an asphalt production plant at the quarry on the outskirts of the town.
However, people living nearby say the plans would lead to an increase of 21 lorry movements a day in a residential area and a long-term change in operating hours to 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
They have also expressed concerns that a change in environmental permit status which could lead to the quarry diversifying into other hazardous activities.
John Howard, who lives in Welham Road, said the plant would produce asphalt which would be delivered to site at a temperature of 100 to 200°C.
Mr Howard said Welham Road was flanked by residential properties and was already a hazard for pedestrians and children.
“The number of jobs created at the new plant will be just three.
This is a poor return for the community for all the loss in amenity,” he said.
Coun Luke Ives (Cons) a member of Ryedale District Council, said he was horrified at the quarry planning application.
“A switch to asphalt will lead to many lorries passing during the night. As the noise is already excessive during the day, any noise and vibration caused during the night will surely lead to sleep disturbances and stress for all the residents on Welham Road.
“It will also cause further traffic problems for our small town and clog the road network,” he said.
Coun Elizabeth Shields, county councillor for Norton, said: “The county planning committee meets on October 22, and if the Watts application is on the agenda that day, I shall be attending that meeting to represent residents.”
David Watts, a director of W Clifford Watts, said people were ‘scaremongering’ and had not got hold of the facts.
He said: “We are looking at varying our hours to start production at 6am but there is certainly no talk of us working 24/7 and although there may be some extra traffic movements they will not all be going down Welham Road but turning left towards York and Bridlington.
“The comments are about asphalt plants of old, modern plants are very different and environmentally friendly. For example a new plant has just been built in the centre of Newcastle five minutes from the city centre.”
Mr Watts said the planning application had been submitted in May and had gone to all the necessary consultees with no objections from the council’s environmental department or the Environment Agency.
He said: “If anyone wants to speak to me or my family they just have to pick up the phone.”
The planning application can be viewed by visiting www.northyorks.gov.uk/ – the planning reference is NY/2012/0340FUL.
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