CAMPAIGNERS against more quarrying around an ancient monument in North
Yorkshire were making a special delivery to county hall this morning.
Members of Heritage Action were taking to the county council about 1,000
letters of objection to plans to extend quarrying near Thornborough Henges.
The letters were timed to meet the first deadline for comment on a scheme by
Tarmac to extend at Ladybridge Farm, north of the existing Nosterfield
quarry near West Tanfield.
And the bumper bundle is largely the result of a village-by-village tour by
action group members aimed at raising the profile of the protest.
George Chaplin, campaign co-ordinator for Heritage Action, said: "We feel it
is important to show the county council just how strong public opinion is.
We have been touring villages with a pre-formatted letter kit which allows
people to write an individual letter of objection in an easy way.
"The henges are the oldest, largest and most important ancient monument in
North Yorkshire. It is a very important site which has been subject to
quarrying for 30 years or so.
"We have been campaigning to get this stopped because it seems it has been
destroying a lot of ancient monuments linked to the henges, such as
settlements of people visiting the site.
"Tarmac has applied to extend the quarrying and we want people to write in
He said the council would accept objections up to September 30.
Mr Chaplin said that in Well there was a 100pc response in favour of the
campaign. In Masham 98pc expressed support and 70pc in Thornton Watlass,
which is on the fringe of the area concerned.
By midweek, campaigners had collected more than 350 letters and at least 150
had been sent directly to county hall with about 1,000 objections in all due
to arrive at Northallerton 11am today.
"The response has been fantastic," said Mr Chaplin.
North Yorkshire County Council is set to consider the Tarmac application in
"The sheer volume of objections is not the only factor the council will take
into account, but it is vital councillors know that a large proportion of
people in Yorkshire are against this," said Mr Chaplin.
"Thornborough Henges has been woefully under-recognised as a site of
importance and we aim to move forward with a national campaign to build
"Our work will be going on all summer. We have meetings set up all over the
place to spotlight the issue.
"This is the most important monument between Stonehenge and the Orkneys and
we expect this to be a long campaign. This is just an initial show of
concern. We think the scheme will be changed and re-submitted and we want to
get so big that they have to give up."
The county council says Tarmac's application to extend sand and gravel
workings is valid and meets necessary regulations. The authority is waiting
for further archaeological information which forms part of an environmental
report to accompany the application.
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