Lichfield MP speaks out against A38 gravel extraction

Michael Fabricant MP with residents on the walk

Michael Fabricant MP with residents on the walk

Michael Fabricant, the Conservative MP for Lichfield has made a statement about the proposed sand and gravel extraction sites at Orgreave. The proposals by Cemex UK and Lafarge seek to excavate 27.5 million tonnes of sand and gravel from sites near the village.

Following his attendance at a protest walk with residents, Mr Fabricant posted the following to his Facebook account;

I joined around 120 residents of Alrewas on Saturday afternoon (13th June) on a walk to see for myself the effect gravel extraction from the Wychnor North (Orgreave) site would have on the village and surrounding district. I was horrified to see what devastation it will cause to the environment and to the quality of life to villagers not only in Alrewas but Kings Bromley and Barton under Needwood too.

Gravel extraction west of the A38 should not be permitted.

At a time when we should be preserving the countryside and encouraging the growing food at home instead of importing produce, it would be unforgivable if permission were granted to rip up agricultural land.

The hedgerows and fields support a wide range of wildlife including hares, lapwings, cuckoos, and rarer breeds. I walked with residents alongside wheat fields and was told by local farmers that the land also produces carrots, onions and potatoes as well as cereal crops. All this would be destroyed for ever by gravel extraction. And environmental experts tell me that flooding could become far worse in the surrounding area.

I do not accept assurances from the gravel companies that heavy trucks moving millions of tons of gravel each year will only use the A38. The A513 through Kings Bromley and Yoxall already suffer from excessive use by juggernauts; this will be made much worse by gravel extraction even closer to those villages.

Staffordshire extracts more than its fair share of gravel imposed on it by the West Midlands Region. The Conservative Party has already stated that in Government they would scrap regional policies on housing; I will aim to ensure that diktats from Birmingham on gravel extraction will be scrapped too.

I shall now inform Staffordshire County officials of my total opposition to these proposals. I urge everyone affected to make their views knows to Matthew Griffin, Minerals Policy Team Leader, Staffordshire County Council, Riverway, Stafford ST16 3TJ too.” Concerned residents can also email him on mat.griffin@staffordshire.gov.uk

Do you live near the proposed sites? Does the proposal worry you, or are you in favour of the sites being created? Share your thoughts below in the comments.

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