A PDF of this image can be downloaded from here. Please circulate this as widely as you can:)

It looks as though the massive sand and gravel quarry that’s being mooted for the rural landscape between East Tilbury, Linford and Stanford-le-Hope is meeting growing opposition from residents and local councillors in the area: Quarry will be death knell for east of borough. Whether that will be enough to persuade the planning officers and the councillors on the planning committee at Thurrock Council to chuck the plan out remains to be seen. As for the operator behind this proposal, Ingrebourne Valley, our experience over the decades is that outfits like this don’t really give a toss what residents think so long as they get permission to tear the guts out of our landscape for their financial gain.

As we’ve written before – The applicant can stick this proposal for a quarry extension where the sun doesn’t shine – this quarry is a step too far. The area has suffered more than enough over the decades from sand and gravel extraction and the subsequent backfilling with waste. Operations that not only tore up the landscape but also put extra lorries on the roads churning up the lanes, covering them in mud during the winter months and dust in the summer.

With the end of all of this plus the restoration of the landfill waste disposal site at Mucking and it’s gradual step by step incorporation into the Thurrock Thameside Nature Park, we really thought that at long last, after enduring decades of environmental degradation, our landscape would have a chance to rest and recover. Not a sodding chance! Firstly, we’ve got the Lower Thames Crossing due to smash it’s way between West Tilbury and Linford. Then there’s Walsh with a landfill operation down by East Tilbury village, sending their lorries back and forth through the residential areas either side of Princess Margaret Road. On top of this, there’s the fly-tippers who seem to be allowed to operate at will along Walton Hall Road. As if that wasn’t bad enough, in comes the application for this quarry!

This end of Thurrock already has to endure poor air quality. More lorries thundering along narrow country lanes belching out fumes and churning up dust will only serve to exacerbate a situation that’s already impacting people’s health. A fair number of these lorries will be passing through or near residential areas. As we’ve mentioned before, the proposed quarry comes close to important conservation sites at the Thurrock Thameside Nature Park and also Linford Wood. These are places we go to in a bid to ease the stresses of modern life and reconnect with nature. Trying to do that just yards from a dusty, dirty quarrying operation will be nigh on impossible.

What Ingrebourne Valley and the planners overseeing their proposal need to understand is that there’s only so much shite people can take. We’ve taken more than we deserve at this end of the borough and want a rest from it. Sod the bottom line and the cult of endless growth that sees the earth as nothing more than a resource to be plundered, regardless of the cost to nature and humanity. Suffice to say, this fight does not end at the conclusion of the planning process, it’ll go on beyond that…