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Villages united against quarry plans

PUBLISHED: 19:36 23 April 2008 | UPDATED: 21:03 07 July 2010

Residents from two neighbouring villages were united in protest at the weekend over plans for a large quarry site on a Breckland river valley.

Around 200 people gathered at East Harling recreation ground on Saturday - a stone's throw away from a proposed sand and gravel extraction site.

Residents from two neighbouring villages were united in protest at the weekend over plans for a large quarry site on a Breckland river valley.

Around 200 people gathered at East Harling recreation ground on Saturday - a stone's throw away from a proposed sand and gravel extraction site.

Villagers from Bridgham and Harling are up in arms about the scheme, which is one of about 100 mineral sites across the county being considered by Norfolk County Council to meet housing and infrastructure needs.

Campaigners say the application by landowner Paul Rackham, of Manor Farm, Bridgham, would destroy an environmentally- sensitive area on the River Thet and have a major knock-on effect on life in the two villages.

More than 1,000 people have already signed a petition against the proposed extraction of 3.5m tonnes of sand and gravel from 110ha of Breckland countryside and are urging

Mr Rackham to withdraw the plans before a public consultation exercise ends on Friday.

Philip Edge, chairman of Harling Parish Council, said the village already had a problem with large volumes of heavy good vehicles and an additional 150 lorries a day from a quarry site would be “disastrous”.

Mark Dickenson, of Bridgham Parish Council, added that the proposed site was too close to houses and would ruin an area of high landscape value.

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