Monday 3rd April 2006
Anti-Marina Group Vows to Stop Quarrying at Penlee
The protest group Stop The Marina! have vowed to put a stop to further large-scale quarrying activities at Penlee Quarry after the submission of an application by MDL Developments Ltd to Cornwall County Council to extract ‘450’000 tonnes of armourstone blocks’.
The quarry has not been worked for a number of years after being bought by Marina Developments Ltd in 2004 but various preparatory work has been undertaken since then in anticipation of a proposed marina and large-scale housing development. The stone that is proposed to be extracted would need to be removed before these developments could take place.
Said founder member Adam Whaley: “These massive blocks will have to be transported from the quarry to Newlyn by road using slow-moving, large, articulated low-loaders; they’ll be going to and fro all day long - about one every four minutes in fact; the traffic congestion and disruption along the coast road will be horrendous!” MDL have stated that they intend using the cycleway along the foreshore below the quarry for part of the route and this will put it out of public use for the duration of the work. “There may be legal implications with this as it is part of the South West Coastal Path and the National Cycle Network route and not only that, it’s only just been completely repaired and resurfaced using ratepayers money!” he added.
MDL Developments Ltd intend to quarry the 50-60’000 blocks by blasting. The blocks will then be used as rock armour for the Sandy Cove and other regeneration schemes.
One of the members of Stop The Marina!, an ex-chief engineer of Penlee Quarry (1), has warned that “this will be a mammoth operation taking up to three years”. He also said “the type of stone at Penlee is of inferior quality for coastal defence work and better sources are to be found elsewhere in Cornwall. As far as I can tell, the contract hasn’t even been put out to tender – it looks like this is a closed deal?” He also pointed out: “If they use other sources for armourstone, they could have it brought in by sea barge, and this will get around all the traffic problems”.
“We are also very concerned about the impact on wildlife” said spokesperson Caroline Astin. “The report recommends the appointment of an independent Ecologist to conduct an Environmental Impact Assessment and we want to ensure that this is adhered to and the results made public”. “There are still nesting Peregrines in the quarry and they are Shedule 1 protected species” she added.
“There are bigger issues here” said Adam Whaley, “they need to remove this stone to enable houses to be built for a marina development; it’s all about finding uses for stone that they would otherwise be very glad to see the back of, and even gladder if they get paid for it!”
Full details of the observations and objections of Stop The Marina! to the application can be found on their new website: www.stopthemarina.co.uk Cornwall County Council invite the public to comment on the submission and any concerns should be addressed to: the Assistant Director: Spatial Planning, Planning Transportation and Estates Department, Cornwall County Council, County Hall, Truro, TR1 SAY to be received by 18 April 2006