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Last chance for Ryarsh residents to oppose 3.6million tonne sand quarry off Roughetts Road


Villagers have hours left to make their final plea against a 3.6million tonne sand pit.

Land off Roughetts Road in Ryarsh was first marked as a potential quarrying site in December 2017.

Tomorrow (Friday), Kent County Council's final Mineral and Waste Local Plan consultation will come to a close.

The area off Roughetts Road, Ryarsh, which could be turned into a sand quarry

Oonagh McCullagh-Boyle from the Ryarsh Protection Group said: "We need to save our community and can't tolerate more pollution in a village which already has the M20 running through the middle."

The Ryarsh Protection Group (RPG) was formed amid concerns a new quarry could bring additional traffic into the area, while also effecting residents' wellbeing by removing 12-hectares of green space.

Mrs McCullage-Boyle added: "We're trying to save our community and protect it for future generations. Studies have shown children growing up near open spaces have a reduced risk of developing mental illness.

Ryarsh Protection Group meeting at the Duke of Wellington, Ryarsh, local residents gather to express their views. Picture: Sean Aidan

"Our campaign over the last year has really proved individuals can make a real difference, this is our last chance to make our voices heard."

For the past two weekends, village pub the Duke of Wellington has hosted workshops helping residents understand how best to respond to KCC's consultation.

More than 100 visitors attended across the two weekends.

KCC already declared it was not backing a quarry in Ryarsh at the end of last year.

Ryarsh residents are up in arms over a proposed sandpit.

The decision came after Ryarsh villagers sent 1,299 individual objection letters in the council's first consultation.

Last November, Tonbridge and Malling MP Tom Tugendhat presented a petition against the proposals to the Houses of Parliament.

The petition carried 3,615 signatures, more than five times Ryarsh's population.

Extra signatures came from surrounding areas such as West Malling, Addington and Birling, all of whom have leant a helping hand toward the RPG's campaign.

With proposals for Ryarsh set to be dropped, an alternative site could be Chapel Farm in Lenham, where there has been no public opposition and there is less impact on the green belt.

If it is selected, Chapel Farm could be used to extract 3.2million tonnes of sand.

Any quarrying site backed by Kent County Council will still have to receive full planning permission.

The consultation closes at midnight on Friday and is available to view here

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