People power defeats West Yorkshire quarry plans

VICTORY: Altofts Junior School delivered handwritten objections.
VICTORY: Altofts Junior School delivered handwritten objections.
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Campaigners are celebrating after they helped to defeat plans that would have meant a quarry was allowed to expand and move its operations closer to a nearby primary school.

Hundreds of people in Normanton and Altofts were desperate for Rudd Quarry not to extend onto green belt land on Newland Lane. They argued it would increase noise and traffic to intolerable levels.

The quarry’s owners, Braithwaite Excavations, denied this and said that the move was vital for the building industry as it mines brick clay.

But after nearly 300 objections from worried pupils at Altofts Junior School and interventions from Yvette Cooper MP and Wakefield Council leader Peter Box, the plans were rejected.

A letter from Ms Cooper, read out to planning committee members, said: “I have been told that over 15 children who attend Altofts Primary School suffer with asthma, and one child who has a life-limiting respiratory illness which would be aggravated by the additional dust created by the extension of Rudd Quarry. It is also clear that the roads in their current state are not adequately equipped to deal with the heavy traffic that will be created.”

Speaking on behalf of Braithwaite, Philip Sherland said that expansion would protect builders’ jobs and council officers had been wrong to suggest heavy goods vehicles would increase noise above permitted levels.

But Coun Box urged the committee to “put people before profit”, with the committee’s 12 councillors going on to vote unanimously against the plans.