A CEMENT company has asked for permission to permanently divert a road.
Hanson Cement in Ketton plans to divert Empingham Road outside the village for a stretch of 800 metres so that it can access limestone reserves under the current road.
The company already has planning consent to extract limestone from the ground which is a key material for the cement.
There is enough limestone in the land surrounding the road to keep the company in business for another 10 to 15 years.
Without it the cement works would have to close.
A spokesman said: “We are making preparations to extend the quarrying area and in order to do that we would need to put a bridge across the road from where we are working presently to the other side.
“We would still have to close the road to build the bridge and then reopen it.”
To avoid closing the road for too long, Hanson Cement has proposed that it builds a new road and access to the quarry around the current quarrying area to avoid traffic driving through the middle of it.
It would divert traffic travelling between Empingham and Ketton to the side of the current road for about 800 metres before rejoining the existing road further towards the villages.
If the plans are accepted the new road will not open for at least three to four years.
Hanson Cement intends to build the new road alongside the existing road to avoid as little disruption as possible.
A spokesman said the company will spend about £4m on the project, but is not planning on starting anything until all of the elements are in place.
He added: “We will construct a diversion around the edge of the existing site.
“On the diversion there will be a bridge which will be a link in to the extension area.
“When the diversion and the bridge is finished we will close the existing road and take out the stretch we need to access the limestone reserves.”
To view the full application visit www.rutland.gov.uk