With the COVID-19 crisis occupying people’s minds, it can be easy to let other issues slip. We suspect that Ingrebourne Valley Ltd. who have put in a planning application for a massive, environmentally destructive sand and gravel quarry extension between Stanford-le-Hope and Linford were hoping that would be the case. Wrong! Over 1000 people have now registered their objections to the proposed quarry extension: More than 1,000 people sign up to protest about huge quarry plan in East Thurrock.

Initial opposition to the proposal was slow to start off with but has gathered a considerable amount of momentum. We reckon some of that is down to the COVID-19 lockdown which pretty much restricted people’s access to open space to locations they could only reach on foot or on a bicycle. A consequence of that is a lot more people discovering what there is on their doorstep in the Stanford-le-Hope and Linford area. Namely, the recently created park by the new housing estate at St. Clere’s, Stanford Warren, Heronry Shaw Lake (part of the Thurrock Thameside Nature Park) and Linford Wood.

During the lockdown, we’ve been out and about in some of the above mentioned locations and have noticed a definite increase in the number of other people also out and about. We’ve also noticed an increase in people cycling on the lanes and tracks in the area. As much as we hate the lockdown, the one upside is that it has made people more aware and appreciative of what’s on their doorstep and more willing to step up to the plate to defend it when there’s a threat to destroy it.

The registering of over 1000 objections is very heartening. We think part of that is down to a bit of a lockdown induced value shift that has made people slow down a bit and appreciate the nature that exists on their doorstep. We’re reasonably optimistic that won’t go away. Which means that Ingrebourne Valley Ltd. have got a fight on their hands. One that we think all of us who object to their proposed desecration will win. But, there’s no room for complacency. If you haven’t yet registered an objection, there’s still time to do so.

Here’s how you can go about it… You can write a direct e-mail to Thurrock Council to express your objection to this scheme. The email address to object to the quarry is: development.management@thurrock.gov.uk. Quote the planning application 19/01709/FUL and state that you are objecting. Anyone willing to try to go directly to the council site should be able to find it by going on their website (https://www.thurrock.gov.uk/search-planning-records/planning-records-online) and searching the plans using this reference – 19/01709/FUL.

There is also a petition to sign which can be found here: This petition is in respect of Planning Application No 19/01709/ful Mineral Extraction and processing at Orsett Quarry SS17 0PP.