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Gravel extraction fight continues as Wennington Village residents ask council to pay £140 High Court fee

PUBLISHED: 11:32 31 May 2017 | UPDATED: 10:16 02 June 2017

Members of Wennington Village Association - standing outside St Mary and St Peter Church, Wennington Road, Wennington. Picture: Brigitte Antal

Members of Wennington Village Association - standing outside St Mary and St Peter Church, Wennington Road, Wennington. Picture: Brigitte Antal

Brigitte Antal

In the quest to protect their way of life residents have appealed to Havering Council to pay High Court costs to fight a gravel extraction.

On Thursday, May 4, the planning inspectorate said the winning and working of minerals on land next to Wennington Hall Farm, New Road, Wennington, can go ahead.

After cross party support was obtained against the plans, Havering Council said it would get legal advice on the “best way forward”.

“This is a major decision for our village, as the Ingrebourne Valley project will have an immense negative impact on all our lives for years and years to come,” said Brigitte Antal member of Wennington Village Association.

“The processing and crushing of imported concrete blocks is not something that should be done in a residential green belt area, and we feel there can be no special conditions that can possibly justify this.”

Residents want an impartial view of the inspector’s interpretation of green belt rules and are asking the council to get legal advice directly from the High Court on the merits of appealing the public inquiry decision.

This facility will cost the council just £140 as any challenge to an appeal must be on a point of law as the planning merits have already been considered.

Ms Antal said taking this action would show residents the council was on their side.

“[We want to know if] the inspector has misinterpreted the rules by conflating gravel extraction with landfill, as this application involves 30pc gravel extraction from site and about 70pc from imported inert waste using a processing plant contrary to green belt policy,” she added.

Councillor David Durant (Independent Residents Group Rainham and Wennington) has backed the request.

He has made a formal motion for the matter to be discussed and voted on at the next full council meeting at Havering Town Hall on Wednesday, June 14.

“The listed St Mary and St Peter church in Wennington Village faces being damaged by dust and vibrations due to the approved appeal,” he added.

“Hopefully the [council] will defend green belt policy.”

A council spokesman said: “The council is prepared to challenge the decision through the courts, but only if we have a strong legal case.”

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