COUNCILLORS have apologised to residents after agreeing to let a quarry expand.
Excavations will now extend to within just yards of people’s back gardens.
One member of Calderdale planning committee said after the decision: “It must be dreadful for the people in close proximity. But sadly I have to recommend the application be approved.”
Coun Martin Peel added: “If I could find a reason to refuse it, I would.”And Coun Stephen Baines said: “I have sympathy with the residents.
come to just metres of the back gardens Residents have been left “extremely frustrated and disappointed” after controversial plans to extend a quarry just meters from their back gardens were approved.
Elland Edge Quarry on Lower Edge Road in Rastrick has been given permission to extend it’s 9.4 hectares site by a further 0.75 hectares, despite over 60 objection letters.
Residents complained that the extension, will bring the quarry to within 13 metres of some nearby property boundaries, will cause major noise and dust pollution.
The application by quarry owners Rand and Asquith Limited was unanimously approved by Calderdale Council’s planning committee.
A National Planning Policy Framework from central Government on mineral extraction means that benefits to the economy have to be given “significant weight” by the planning committee when making a decision on quarrying.
But Anthony and Adele Lee, residents on Lower Edge Road for 14 years, said they were disappointed with the decision.
Athony said: “The councillors were sympathetic with our views but I’m extremely frustrated with the decision they’ve come to.
“I just hope the owner of the quarry is going to do what he promises to keep the disturbance to us to a minimum.”
Adele added: “If the councillors were unhappy with the application they should have rejected it and made it go to an appeal.
“The quarry owner has the right to appeal but we don’t, I don’t see how that’s fair.
“If we ever wanted to sell the house it’s going to be extremely difficult,” she said.
Tests carried out by Environmental Health at the quarry revealed that noise levels on the site, including background noise from the M62, are on average 55 decibels - about as loud as a conversation.
Further tests were also carried out on dust particle levels, highways issues, wildlife and ecology as well as Chairman of the Planning Committee Cllr Daniel Sutherland (Illingworth and Mixenden, Lab) said: “There isn’t a reason to refuse this application which has the legs to get through an appeal.”
Rand and Asquith produce high quality Yorkshire building products that have been used in restoration projects at St Paul’s Cathedral, The Monument and the Royal Courts of Justice.
The decision will secure the future of over 30 jobs and will provide 230,000 tonnes of Elland Flag Sandstone.
Rand and Asquith declined to comment.