Wennington community lose fight against gravel extraction

PUBLISHED: 07:00 15 May 2017

Wennington Village residents protesting outside Rainham Library against gravel extraction in March. Picture: Brigitte Antal

Wennington Village residents protesting outside Rainham Library against gravel extraction in March. Picture: Brigitte Antal

Brigitte Antal

Residents who fought a lengthy battle against plans for a gravel extraction plant near their homes have lost their fight.

The planning inspectorate has allowed and granted planning permission for the winning and working of minerals on land adjacent to Wennington Hall Farm, New Road, Wennington.

Councillor David Durant (Independent Residents Group) said residents will be shocked.

“I’m very surprised it has been allowed because it is a land fill but the inspector has treated it as a gravel extraction,” he said.

“But I can’t see how. It is clearly a land fill because of the amount of waste that is being transported.”

Harlow-based reclamation and restoration company, Ingrebourne Valley Limited initially submitted plans for the extraction plant in November 2013.

Havering Council’s planning committee refused the application in March last year, deeming it an inappropriate development of the green belt.

The development must now take place within five years of – Thursday, May 4 – the date of inspector Stephen Roscoe’s decision and last no longer than nine years.

In his report Mr Roscoe made 38 conditions upon which the permission was granted.

These include no more than 200,000 tonnes of minerals being exported from the site per year neither can 300,000 tonnes of infill material be imported.

The total number of heavy goods vehicle (HGVs) going in and out of the site must not exceed 270 movements per day Monday to Friday and 136 times on Saturdays.

The high number of HGVs and congestion and resulting inconvenience caused to drivers and pedestrians, was a factor in the council’s initial planning application refusal.

But residents will now have to put up with this between the hours of 8am and 6pm Monday to Friday and 8am to 1pm on Saturdays.

Members of Wennington Village Association gathered at Rainham Library, Celtic Farm Road, Rainham, on Tuesday, March 21, to attend a public hearing in the hopes of saving their beloved village.

“We are in shock and cannot believe this is happening again in our village, the second gravel extraction site and with a processing plant, it’s a massive blow for our community,” said Brigitte Antal.

“We aren’t ready to give up as this will affect the quality of life and the air we breath for 10 years.”

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