Cavenham Quarry to extend by 10 acres while asphalt plant to continue for further four years

Aerial image of Cavenham Quarry

Cavenham Quarry has been given planning permission for a 10-acre extension - Credit: Google Maps

A 10-acre extension to a Suffolk quarry has been agreed despite fears over lorry movements through nearby villages, while the asphalt plant there will continue for another four years.

Allen Newport Ltd which operates Cavenham Quarry was given planning permission by Suffolk County Council on Thursday to extend the site by 4.1 hectares which will see 152,000 tonnes of sand and gravel extracted over a 12 month period, expected to start in around two years.

The site, currently just over 62 hectares in size, has been operating since the 1960s, with the extension site being returned to land for livestock grazing once inert soil and topsoil are restored to the site after quarrying finishes there.

Meanwhile, an application for the the asphalt plant run by Breedon Group Services at the site to continue for a further four years was also given the green light.

That plant, which was first sited at the quarry following construction of the M1 in the 1960s, was due to cease operation on December 31, 2020, but can now continue until December 31, 2024, with the land being restored by December 31, 2026.

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Abigail Molyneux, consultant with PDE Consulting, agents for both Allen Newport and Breedon, said: "The proposed restoration scheme will see the land restored to Breckland Heath for biodiversity gain, which is fully supported by Natural England and the RSPB."

She added: "We have clearly demonstrated how any affects of this scheme can be properly mitigated to comply with planning policies, and we have demonstrated beyond all reasonable doubt how beneficial the proposal will be."

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The quarry extension was approved on the condition that an HGV movement plan is completed, following concerns over lorry traffic through the village of Tuddenham.

Councillor Karen Soons

Councillor Karen Soons - Credit: Archant

Councillor Karen Soons, on behalf of Tuddenham Parish Council, said: "They have 2,500 movements a day through a village of 320 people. A village of 320 people having 2,500 vehicle movements a day is huge - these roads are classified C roads, so rural roads."

However, there was no objection from the county council highways team, with a 25% increase in HGV traffic anticipated.

County council development manager Graham Gunby said there were around 5,000 vehicle movements through the village of Tuddenham, with just 1.7% of that comprising quarry traffic. Movement plans for trucks also required a mix of using roads through Tuddenham and Cavenham villages to spread the impact.

Councillor Melanie Vigo di Gallidoro said: "I believe the traffic management plan is an essential part of this - it might only be a few more lorries but it's the hair that breaks the camel's back."

Ms Soons also raised concerns over extended working at the quarry as 80% of Tuddenham village was in a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) with species of Grayling butterflies and stone curlew birds.

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