Villager fears quarry expansion in Northamptonshire could affect ancient meadow

Ham Meadow.
Ham Meadow.

A resident of a tiny hamlet in the south of Northamptonshire said villagers are gearing up for a protest - if plans to extract gravel from underneath an ancient meadow get the go-ahead.

A quarry has existed to the south of picturesque Passenham for more than 20 years, which some residents say can be noisy and dusty on some days.

But a report set to go to Northamptonshire County Council on Tuesday, November 10, states the gravel quarry, run by the firm GRS, has depleted the reserves to the south west of he site and is now wishing to extract from an area to the east.

However former deputy leader of South Northants Council and Passenham resident David Adams said this new site would fall within Ham Meadow - an historically important green island surrounded by the River Ouse containing a Iron Age barrow.

Mr Adams said; “If they insist on moving their activities to this land, we will have to have a village wide protest.

“We will get Natural England, the Campaign to Protect Rural England on board as well.”

The report set to go to the cabinet meeting next week, which is to update the Minerals and Waste Local Plan in the county, states a number of draft proposals for continuing to extract raw materials extraction from the ground in Northamptonshire over the coming years.

It states the operator of the Passenham site considers “there are not suitable resources” at its current extraction site to the south west of the village.

“However, a new allocation, where there are viable resources, is to be made east of the Passenham site by way of a substitute,” it adds.

But it goes on to say not all of this site is expected to be extracted from, with that part nearest to Passenham proposed to be “excluded due to presence of heritage assets and the need for a suitable buffer between the extraction area and the settlement’s residential dwellings.”

Mr Adams, who is due to speak at the meeting next week, said the extension will move the quarry site nearer to their homes.

The cabinet meeting is set for the Blue Room at County Hall on Tuesday, November 10 at 2pm.