Campaigners urge residents to oppose Leicestershire quarry expansion

Campaigners are urging people to take part in a consultation on plans to enlarge a Leicestershire quarry.

Tarmac wants to expand to the north and south of the Mountsorrel site, taking away Rothley Common, and extend its lifespan from 2040 to 2058.

Opponents said they feared an extension would have a major impact on the local environment, but Tarmac said it was committed to being a good neighbour.

The county council's consultation on the proposal will end on Friday.

James Murtagh
Campaigner James Murtagh says there is dust and noise pollution from the quarry

The 545-acre (221-hectare) site opened in 1895 and supplies the construction industry with large volumes of stone.

Campaign group Stop Mountsorrel Quarry Expansion said it had been trying to get public opinion against the extension, including holding a protest nearby on Monday.

James Murtagh, from the group, said: "I think there is huge anger about what Tarmac is proposing.

"There is already a two million square-metre scar on the landscape and they want to extend that by 25-30%.

"When it is a rainy day, you just get the noise; but, on a dry day, you can see and taste the dust coming off the quarry.

"They already have planning permission to 2040 and we think when they get to that they should stop.

"Enough is enough."

Sophie Noctor
Sophie Noctor's house is close to the proposed edge of the enlarged quarry

More than 2,000 people have signed a petition opposing the plans.

Sophie Noctor lives near the quarry but the expansion would bring it almost to her garden fence.

She said: "I am worried about subsidence and what the noise will affect, because it can feel like an earthquake, and that will get louder.

"The dust pollution and the damage to the building ... yes, we are worried about it.

"Our view, with fields and a lovely copse, will go as the quarry advances."

Careful consideration

In a statement, Tarmac said: "Mountsorrel Quarry is of both regional and national importance.

"We have submitted a planning application for an extension to the quarry to ensure we can safeguard its future and keep extracting these vital minerals within the UK.

"This has been informed by a number of public events and consultation with local people.

"The application is accompanied by an Environmental Impact Assessment which carefully considers all potential effects of the development.

"Tarmac is committed to being a good neighbour and to working alongside local communities."

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