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Newspaper Columns

KM Column - Ryarsh Quarry Petition - 29 November 2018

For months now the Ryarsh Protection Group and Ryarsh Parish Council have been campaigning against the inclusion of Ryarsh Quarry in Kent County Council’s Draft Minerals and Waste Local Plan. Their dedication and passion to the cause, and to their community, has been exemplary. They’ve created Facebook groups, appeared in newspapers, on television, and written hundreds of letters to Kent County Council raising their concerns, and encouraged others to do the same.

Over the last few months, one of the most significant things they have done is collected signatures for their petition, 3,600 to be precise. Last week I was delighted to present their petition to the House of Commons to urge Kent County Council not to consider Ryarsh Quarry in their Draft Minerals and Waste Local Plan. Their continual push to gather support from their local community and beyond, has been considerable, and the number of people who raised their voices to campaign against this is unprecedented for such a small village.

I am delighted to say that it was recently announced that Kent County Council officers have recommended that the site is not allocated for quarrying in the Draft Minerals and Local Waste Plan, which I know will please everyone who has campaigned so hard against it. However, this is not the end of the matter. The whole Council will now decide on what is to be included in the Draft Plan at their meeting this week, then, should it be accepted, it will proceed for another round of public consultation which will likely start shortly afterwards. The Plan will then be assessed by a Government appointed Inspector before they report on their findings, and it can be adopted towards the end of 2019. I continue to keep you updated.

Georgie Welford