Residents object to landfill plan for death quarry

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residents near Ashover have begun a campaign to prevent the flooded quarry in which a teenager drowned two years ago from being filled in.

Ambergate earthmoving firm JC Balls and Sons is seeking planning permission to bury 130,000 tonnes of landfill in the disused Fall Hill Quarry, off Hockley Lane, saying this would displace the water and make the site safer.

Their plan has received support from the Clay Cross family of Ryan Walker, who drowned swimming in the quarry in May 2009.

But members of the newly formed Fall Hill Landfill Action Group (FLAG) oppose the proposal, saying it would replace one danger with a new one, caused by lorries on narrow roads near homes.

The application lodged with Derbyshire County Council proposes two routes to bring waste to the site – one via the B6037, and the other via Ashover Road, Subben Edge and Dale Bank. Both currently have 7.5-tonne weight limits, but the application involves lorries of up to 32 tonnes passing by during a period of up to 30 months.

Chairman of FLAG Keith Horner said he was not opposed to making the quarry safe, but said the site was on private land and therefore only a danger to trespassers, and other measures such as a better fence should suffice.

“We understand fully the grief and anguish Ryan’s family have experienced,” he said. “But the response has got to be proportional to the danger.”

The group is also concerned about flooding, dust and noise.

A spokesperson for JC Balls was not available at the time of going to press.