How extraordinarily short-sighted the planners have been to turn down the application to extract stone from Alton quarry. Excavation has been going on there for some time, and I believe the application made was for this work to continue.
Many people are unaware that work has been going on and it has not had a detrimental environmental impact. The stone is not blasted.
The alternative of importing stone from half way across the world has a much bigger impact. The quarry has a limited life of around ten years, so any impact which might be argued to be detrimental would be short lived.
I lived in Alton for 20 years, and it was very much a working community. A very large egg farm was in full production for many years and large lorries used the small roads with great regularity; far more than will be needed to carry the stone. The site of this farm is now an estate of ‘executive’ homes. The residents of these houses need to understand that the countryside is not just a pretty place to live.
Moreover, the prospect of creating jobs in an area of high unemployment is surely of great value. Not everyone can afford an executive home or a riding school.
Lastly, I do not understand what the planners meant by the use of the stone not being the most sustainable. It is very high quality and will be around for hundreds of years.
I hope the company will appeal and be successful.