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21 February 2006
Thornborough henges quarry plans rejected

Campaigners are rejoicing after controversial plans to extend a quarry near the Thornborough henges in North Yorkshire (England) were rejected by councillors.
     It is almost two years since Tarmac first applied to quarry sand and gravel at Ladybridge Farm, north of Ripon, near the Thornborough Henges. Conservationists claimed the work would disturb the setting of the 5,000-year-old bronze age earthworks. But Tarmac argued the land could cope with the quarrying operation.
     County councillors voted 6 to 3 to reject the application at a planning meeting. Tarmac said it intended to appeal against the decision which it described as very disappointing. Local campaign group Timewatch had collected more than 10,000 signatures for a petition against the scheme, which it said would contribute to the permanent loss of nationally important archaeology. US-based conservation group the Landmarks Foundation also voiced its concern at the quarry proposals, describing them as a tragedy. But several people had supported the extension.
     Tarmac already has a quarry at Nosterfield, close to the ancient henges which consist of three earthworks built in a line running north-south for about a mile. Workers at the Nosterfield Quarry and local building firms sent in 80 letters and a 350-signature petition arguing that more than 50 livelihoods depend on the application's approval. Tarmac said the henges were under no threat from quarrying because of their status as protected ancient monuments.

Source: BBC News (21 February 2006)

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