Rushcliffe MP Ruth Edwards joined residents in the Nottinghamshire village of Barton in Fabis on Tuesday evening to support opposition to a sand and gravel quarry planning application which will destroy a well-loved beauty spot and impact one of the most important nature sites in the county, Attenborough Nature Reserve.
She was joined by local councillors Matt Barney and Rex Walker who are also supporting the residents’ campaign.
Ruth has been working with the group of local residents who are coordinating the campaign for several months and has raised serious concerns about the impact of the plan on the Attenborough Nature Reserve and on surrounding villages, including Barton in Fabis, Gotham and Thrumpton .
Residents in the village and the surrounding areas of Rushcliffe, Nottingham city and Broxtowe have highlighted that this application does not effectively tackle issues of excessive noise and pollution (from the extraction, treatment, and transport of the minerals on the site), traffic, flooding, and environmental damage.
Particularly worrying, the plans will have a huge impact on local wildlife sites including Brandshill and Clifton Grove Ancient Woodland, Holme Pit and Attenborough Nature Reserve which is only 70m away from the site across the river.
Both Holme Pitt and Attenborough Nature Reserve are designated Sites of Special Scientific Interest and the nature reserve is an internationally important site of nature conservation.
The meeting in Barton, which was set up by the residents’ campaign group ‘Save the Ancient Valley Environment’ (SAVE) was attended by almost 150 people, with others joining virtually via a live video on the ‘Barton-in-Fabis Against Sand & Gravel’ Facebook Page.
Among the speakers with Ruth who expressed strong opposition to the plans were Barton-in-Fabis Parish Councillor Julian Coles, County Councillor Matthew Barney, Rushcliffe Borough Councillor Rex Walker and Erin McDaid from Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust.
The meeting heard from planning experts and environmental academics who highlighted the significant problems with many aspects of the proposals and pointed to more than 40 issues which have been identified with the application as it currently stands. These included the lack of an up to date, full archaeological survey and insufficient and inadequate noise monitoring.
The campaign against the application is asking for residents across Nottinghamshire and more widely who are interested in protecting the Attenborough Nature Reserve to object to the current plans via the Nottinghamshire County Council website. Attendees were briefed on how to object effectively using the ‘How to Object’ resources found on barton-in-fabis.net. Objections can be lodged up to 10th September 2021.
Rushcliffe MP Ruth Edwards MP told The Wire:
“I stand shoulder to shoulder with all the residents, environmental groups, campaigners and organisations who are opposing this application.
“I am deeply concerned about the effects on local communities and wildlife sites and I have concerns about the data presented on key aspects such as dust, noise and flooding. Rather than conserving these carefully, the plans make promises about restoration after the fact which just don’t stand up to even basic scrutiny.
“I would ask anyone who cares about this to go on the campaign website, object to the plans and join the fight. If we don’t, we will see a vitally important site irreparably destroyed by an unsuitable application.”
Rushcliffe Borough Councillor Rex Walker said:
“I’m proud to be standing alongside the outstandingly committed residents of Barton in Fabis and the ‘SAVE’ campaign team in our opposition to the planning application. There are a host of legitimate and strong bases for objecting to the application and I encourage those far and wide to submit their individual responses to the current consultation.”
Nottinghamshire County Councillor Matthew Barney said:
“I appreciated the invitation to attend the event and hear first-hand the concerns and passion of the local community with respect to this current planning application.”
Campaign coordinator and representative of the Barton in Fabis Parish Council Julian Coles said:
“We’re delighted by the full attendance at the meeting with standing room only and many more following our livestream on the night. People are really fired up after the support shown by Ruth Edwards MP and our Borough and County Councillors”