I would like to outline FLAG’s opposition to the planning application by JC Balls, to in fill Fall Hill Quarry, at Ashover, with 130,000 tonnes of landfill.
FLAG fully recognises the pain and anguish suffered by the Walker family and friends following the tragic death of Ryan Walker, and we fully support her campaign to reduce deaths and injuries in disused quarries. However, what we do take issue with is the manner and the proportion of the response.
FLAG is firmly of the opinion that the transporting of 130,000 tonnes of material by 32-tonne, eight-wheeled lorries, at an average rate of one every fifteen minutes during working hours, along narrow and winding country roads through Tupton, Littlemoor and Woolley Moor, is totally inappropriate. These routes have a 7.5 tonne weight restriction and therefore the safety of the local community and the many visitors to the area will be severely compromised.
What will be the ‘community benefit’ to cyclists, horse riders, walkers and the hundreds of local residents legitimately using these country roads, many without the benefit of footpaths?
There will also be problems of noise, dust and possible flooding in the area surrounding the quarry itself.
It must be remembered that Ryan Walker’s death took place on private land and whilst every attempt should be made to secure the quarry with more robust fencing and better signage, alongside a programme to educate young people of the potential danger of swimming in open water, attempts to sanitise the countryside are doomed to failure. Indeed the application still makes provision for a 15-metre rock face to remain!
FLAG believes that in terms of community safety, priority must be given to local people involved in legitimate activities and that the proposal is completely disproportionate to the danger faced.
Chair of FLAG