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Wennington residents continue their fight against gravel extraction

PUBLISHED: 07:00 23 March 2017 | UPDATED: 09:53 23 March 2017

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

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

Brigitte Antal

Residents were out in force on Tuesday to campaign against plans for a gravel extraction plant near their homes.

Members of Wennington Village Association gathered at Rainham Library, Celtic Farm Road, Rainham, to attend a public hearing chaired by the Planning Inspectorate.

The event formed part of a long-contested application for a gravel extraction and processing plant to be erected on the land adjacent to Wennington Hall Farm, New Road, Rainham.

“Like so many fellow residents I moved here to bring my children up in a quiet and safe environment, close to nature, in a village with a great past and perhaps a great future,” said Wennington Village resident, Brigitte Antal.

“It’s sad to see that local residents need to be forever concerned with accommodating nonsensical plans rather than being able to focus on their own needs.”

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 refusal also cited that the movements of a high number of heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) proposed each working day, would result in congestion causing inconvenience to drivers and pedestrians.

Cllr David Durant (Independent Residents’ Group, Rainham and Wennington), added: “They [Ingrebourne Valley Limited] were trying to say it was a gravel extraction site, but it became clear it would be a land fill site.

“Land fill involves importing tons of inert waste and then extracting gravel from it. Then exporting the gravel and leaving all the remnants on the land.

“If it went ahead, because of its proximity to houses it would be detrimental.

“There’s an ancient listed church, St Mary and St Peter, which could be damaged by dust and vibrations.”

Residents greeted councillors and inspectors with placards that spelled out “we say no” and featured images of the community enjoying the area.

Jennifer Cyprien said: “I just hope that the inspector sees and understands what a detrimental effect this proposal would have on all our lives if passed. “Wennington is a strong community, we look after our village and do our best to look out for each other too.

“I could imagine that some people would just give up and move away if the dust and noise from a processing plant just across the road made life unbearable.”

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