A Mansfield businessman has slammed Tarmac as works are underway to extend a large quarry on greenbelt land.
A 4.5 hectare extension to the existing The Bestwood II Quarry is planned, in order to “facilitate the extraction of 1.4 million tonnes of Sherwood Sandstone over a ten year period.”
Tarmac Trading, who own the quarry at Mansfield Road, Papplewick, near Ravenshead, got the go-ahead to extend the quarry in December 2018.
Work has begun on the extension, as 20 acres of woodland has been chopped down for the quarry to be dug.
However, residents say they were not aware that the quarry was to be extended, and are concerned that the wildlife’s habitat is being destroyed.
Simon Rood, a businessman who lives on Longdale Lane Ravenshead said: “Twenty acres of woodland in this green belt and conservation area has been decimated, and the quarry has destroyed the habitat of lots of wildlife.
“The village was not consulted on this, and I was not informed, although I live very close to this quarry.
“This will have a massive impact on wildlife.
“Something can be done - this could be stopped, and Tarmac could be made to replant these trees.
"Why was the green belt and conservation order allowed to be overridden?"
The extension would back onto the boarder of Mr Rood’s neighbour, Ray Wyles’ land.
He added: “I want people to be aware of the covertness of this operation.
“It’s not been a transparent program.
"There should be a public enquiry into why no-one knows about this."
However, Nottinghamshire County Council say residents were notified, and issues with wildlife were taken into account.
Notts CC confirmed that the land is a commercial tree plantation on greenbelt land.
Jonathan Smith, team manager for development management at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “The planning application to extend the Bestwood II Quarry was considered by the County Council’s planning and licensing committee on December 11, 2018.
"As part of the application process, neighbour notification letters were sent to 34 properties close to the site, including 16 properties on Longdale Lane, in addition to the application being advertised by press and site notices. Two residents on Longdale Lane made representations on the application.
“A number of issues were considered in detail in the officer’s report including the site’s location in the Green Belt.
"For most forms of built development, Government planning policy dictates that such development is inappropriate in the Green Belt and should only be granted permission where very special circumstances exist. However, Government policy acknowledges that mineral extraction is not inappropriate development in the Green Belt where it preserves openness and officers considered that this was the case in this instance.
“The officer’s report acknowledged that the application site had a degree of ecological sensitivity, as highlighted by its Local Wildlife Site designation, but the creation of new habitat in the existing quarry and on land at another nearby quarry in the applicant’s ownership compensated for these impacts, with consideration also being given to the need for the mineral.
“In considering all the material considerations relating to the application, and taking into account the lack of objection from Gedling Borough Council, Ravenshead Parish Council, the Environment Agency and Natural England, Members of the Planning and Licensing Committee agreed with the officer’s recommendation and resolved to grant planning permission for the quarry extension. Planning permission has been granted subject to 53 conditions and a legal agreement covering off-site habitat creation and the continuation of the local liaison committee which regularly meets to discuss ongoing operations at the quarry.”
A Tarmac spokesman also say residents were contacted regarding the extension, and that the land will be restored after the quarry has been used.
The spokesman said: "Longdale Road residents were first informed about plans to extend the quarry in July 2016 when a newsletter was hand delivered to all households as part of a consultation prior to submission of a planning application. Residents were also invited to submit comments as part of the formal planning application consultation process managed by Nottinghamshire County Council.
"In January 2019 all residents of Longdale Road were sent a letter detailing pending tree works and ecological surveys.
"The majority of the extension area that has been granted planning permission for mineral extraction is a plantation created relatively recently by the current landowner. The trees are periodically thinned and the lumber sold commercially."
"Tarmac has been working in partnership with Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust to ensure the preservation of local wildlife following a series of ecological surveys; the most recent was compiled in January 2019.
"After quarrying has completed Tarmac is obliged to restore the land as detailed in the restoration plan which was approved as part of the planning application process. The resulting quarry restoration will improve biodiversity in the area with the creation of new animal habitats including heathland which has significantly decreased in Nottinghamshire since the 1920s.