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CAMPAIGN GROUP FORMED TO FIGHT AGAINST QUARRY PLANS FOR WOOTTON

WagelogoA campaign group entitled Wootton/Whippingham Against Gravel Extraction (WAGE) has been formed in response to the proposal from Wight Buliding Materials to excavate nearly a million tons of gravel from the rural location of Palmers Farm.

The group held their first official meeting at Lakeside Park Hotel in Wootton on Thursday last week.

Responding to Wight Building Material’s recent announcement, Bob Holt, Chairman of WAGE, described it as little more than PR spin.

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“This proposal by Wight Building Materials suggests that it will safeguard untold numbers of jobs. In reality there will only be two people working on the site itself. All other jobs would be secure and in fact if sea dredging was used then even more jobs would be created in the supply chain.

“St. George’s Down does not only process gravel, it supplies the island with tarmac and many other products none of which are affected by this proposal.”

The group raised severe concerns about the proposed location of the quarry. Bob said:

“It is in the wrong place, there is no good access route. The suggestion that Brocks Copse Road, even if substantial modifications are feasible, can handle 50 lorries a day for ten years is absurd, neither is using Palmers Road possible.

“After Brocks Copse the lorries are supposed to head back into Wootton to turn at the Cedars onto Station Road. That is madness and will cause severe disruption at one of the busiest and least safe island junctions.

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“You cannot widen Brocks Copse because the area is abundant with wildlife. The habitat for badgers, bats, squirrels, invertebrates, mice and other rodents cover the road and farm but apparently WBM are somehow going to evict them for ten years. Perhaps they will do it by text message? In all seriousness, this is a large site and the disruption will have a big impact on the flora and fauna of this scientifically important area.”

WAGE have also questioned the need for this site to be developed at all.

“By their own admission Palmers Farm is only one of the deposits available. We suggest they look at other less impractical areas first.”

Bob was also present at the public meeting where Wight Building Materials first showed it’s plans to what has been described as an incredulous audience.

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“Nobody could believe it” says Bob. “Resident after resident got up to challenge Steve Burton on the details but he had few answers, he seemed out of his depth. The idea that they are ‘consulting’ locally is a sham, they are not listening at all. They couldn’t even be bothered to take notes during their meeting. Steve Burton says that WBM are bringing people with them, I would say it was more like taking people for a ride.”

Councillor Daryll Pitcher has also weighed in on the debate:

“I was shown these plans soon after being elected in May. It was instantly obvious how disruptive this would be and how impractical the access issues are and I pushed for a public meeting to take place. I am very concerned about the highways issue. Island Roads acts as the advisor to the Isle of Wight Council on Highways matters for planning but they are owned by the same company (Vinci) as Wight Building Materials.

“I have written to the Council’s Chief Executive to ask him to ensure that this is handled in a transparent and impartial way. I do not want the Isle of Wight Council to suffer reputational damage due to a conflict of interest.”

More information can be found at www.wage-iw.org.

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The views/opinions expressed in these comments are solely those of the author and do not represent those of Island Echo. House rules on commenting must be followed at all times.
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isle of wighter
isle of wighter
9 days ago

Wight building materials only want to do this because it is the cheapest option, which preserves their profit margin. If they have to import or dredge, they incur extra costs, but can still only sell at the market rate.

The wildlife was there first and it is their home – you do not attempt to move wildlife, they are not human, they have an understanding of their environment, their home, their food sources and their natural predators routines.

As usual, a complete disregard for the environment by digging up the land and releasing more CO2 into the atmosphere.

Import it from currently operating sites on the mainland

isle of wighter
isle of wighter
Reply to  isle of wighter
9 days ago

The wildlife pass on the knowledge of the local area, predators, food sources, safe routes to get to food whilst avoiding predators and locations for safe habitat to the next generation that they give birth to and raise. Attempting to move any of them, breaks this chain of knowledge and they have to start from scratch, building up that knowledge base again – sadly, this does mean that many die in an unknown area.

If the wight building material owners were grabbed and then dumped into a big city in a far away land, with no money, no phone and no english speakers, they will then get the idea of what it means to the creatures they plan to move

JHVF
JHVF
9 days ago

It’s difficult to comprehend the stupidity of anyone who would suggest that Brock’s Copse Road is a suitable routing for quarry trucks. (Unless, of course, it were to be at least doubled in width with deeper foundations over the entire length and new bridge , most unlikely)

Mr Sands
Mr Sands
9 days ago

Complete chaos, Farmer and WBM trying to cash in at the expense of EVERYONE living in and around the area. Light, noise and air pollution alongside killing off local wildlife. No thankyou!

Tony
Tony
9 days ago

Just truck it in from the mainland then complain about diesel pollution……

Badger
Badger
9 days ago

Support wbm stone has always come from the ground in fact it was dug in Wootton years ago to build the houses that all the complainers now live in !

Banner
Banner
9 days ago

I’m sure I read that 1 off their drivers was done for speeding.

Bansko
Bansko
Reply to  Banner
9 days ago

And the relevance of that to this article is what exactly?

 

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