Greetham Quarry in Rutland will be expanded despite concerns from villagers about the impact on their health and businesses
Villagers and business owners are concerned that a quarry expansion will have a devastating impact on their health and livelihoods.
Mick George has secured permission to expand Greetham Quarry to within 200 metres of village homes and community facilities.
It means quarrying can continue for a further 20 years.
More than 370 people had signed a petition calling on Rutland County Council to reject the plans, but the scheme was approved on Tuesday evening.
Darren and Alex Blackwell, who run the glamping site In The Stix, had campaigned against it. Their customers have already complained about the noise and dust which drifts from the quarry, and the couple fear the expansion will only make things worse.
Alex said: “When we first opened we knew the quarry was coming to an end so we could grin and bear it, but to be faced with another 20 years is a different matter.
“We want to promote Rutland and everything it has to offer, but it feels like the council is taking away our chance of succeeding by allowing this to happen.”
More than 80 villagers attended the online planning meeting where parish councillor Ken Edward and David Hodson, from the quarry liaison group, spoke against the plans.
Mr Edward said: “Our main concern is for the health of our village. We’ve had some quite serious issues with clouds of dust which will only be exasperated by the expansion.”
A statement read on behalf of resident John Courtney added: “We are owed the right to live in a safe, clean and healthy environment.
“Our fear and dread is that this will be worse than it ever was as the land buffer is eroded.
“Does Greetham deserve to have the next 20 years blighted?”
Council planning officers had recommended the plans be approved and sought to reassure people that stringent conditions would be attached to reduce the impact on the village.
There will be no blasting and no operation in areas closest to the village.
A spokesman from the Mick George Group said: “The planning officers confirmed the principle of the development is supported by the National Policy Framework and the fact the development is wholly compliant with the adopted minerals core strategy.
“There were no outstanding objections from any of the statutory consultee who included the Environment Agency, Natural England, Historic England, LCC ecology and archaeology units and Rutland County Council’s highways and environmental Health departments.
“The proposal does not alter the nature or scale of mineral excavation process beyond that previously consented. However, unlike the previous consent there is now a substantial distance proposed where the mineral cannot be processed in relation to the village: that figure is now 350m.
“Stronger environmental controls will be imposed than was previously the case under the historic planning permissions that existed.”
During the meeting councillors also agreed to expand the time Mick George Ltd has to restore the existing quarry. The deadline was September 2020, but it has been extended to March 2022.
Measures have been put in place to make sure the work is carried out.