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9 July 2004
New twist in henges row

A quarry firm at the centre of a bitter row with conservationists is staging a public exhibition to explain its controversial plans to extend operations next to an ancient site near Ripon (North Yorkshire, England). Tarmac Northern Ltd is holding the event to enable members of the public to find out more about its plans for Nosterfield Quarry at Thornborough. The quarry is next to the site of the 5,000-year-old Thornborough henges, which are increasingly being recognised as being of national importance - on a par with Stonehenge.
     Tarmac submitted proposals to extract sand and gravel from a further 111 acres at Ladybridge Farm, east of the current quarry, last month, saying the expansion was necessary to provide much-needed sand and gravel supplies to North Yorkshire's construction industry.
But the company was accused of sacrificing heritage for profits and of pursuing the planning application despite being made fully aware of the site's national significance.
     Now members of the public will be able to see the plans in detail for themselves. Visitors to the exhibition being held at West Tanfield village hall on Saturday, July 10, from 11am to 4pm, will find information about the application and quarrying in general. The exhibition by Tarmac will be closely followed by a talk about the importance of the henge site and what should be done to protect it. George Chaplin, a member of campaign group Heritage Action, will be speaking at Masham Town Hall on Wednesday, July 14, at 7.30pm. For more about Heritage Action's Thornborough campaign, see www.heritageaction.org.

Source: Nidderdale Today (8 July 2004)

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