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MP praises quarry protestors

Campaigners have won their battle to prevent hazardous waste - including asbestos - being dumped at Stowey Quarry on the Mendips.

There have been numerous protests and challenges against plans for the landfill site and a public inquiry was held in September. The planning inspector has ruled against the proposals because of the impact on the landscape and the possible risk to the Chew Valley Lake reservoir nearby.

Local MP Jacob Rees-Mogg has welcomed the ruling and praised the protestors for their persistence.

Inspector dismisses appeal to dump asbestos at quarry

A Planning Inspector has dismissed an appeal by the owner of Stowey Quarry in the Chew Valley to dump asbestos at the site.

The planning application was refused unanimously by Bath & North East Somerset Council (BANES) last year.

Quarry owner Larry Edmund appealed this decision, which was the subject of a planning inquiry.

More than 4,000 residents signed a petition against the plans fearing asbestos could contaminate Chew Valley Lake - Bristol's main source of drinking water.

The Inspector made his decision on three grounds:

  • The proposal would cause harm to the character and the appearance of the area, and would conflict with existing policies.
  • The risk to the groundwater and thus to Chew Valley Lake of a failure either in the liner or the waste acceptance procedures at the site would be significant.
  • The fear of asbestos fibres escaping into the air and water would have an adverse effect on the living conditions of the local community.

We are delighted with the Inspector’s decision which will safeguard the Chew Valley lake and local community from the threat of harmful wastes including asbestos.

The decisions taken by BANES and the EA in June 2011 have now been shown to be flawed.

At each and every stage valid objections and clear evidence have been ignored by both authorities who purport to protect our communities.

In the absence of adequate rigour, it was left to the community to correct these mistakes.

It would restore some confidence within this community if the authorities were to acknowledge this and apologise.

– Sally Monkhouse, chair of SSAG

Full report: Stowey Quarry public inquiry

Campaigners fighting proposals to dump asbestos and other harmful waste at a quarry in the Mendips have been dealt another blow.

A government inspector has confirmed that revised plans will now be considered.

Local people - and Bristol Water - say they're concerned that dumping the waste could pollute Chew Valley Lake.

But today the firm behind the plans says it won't dispose of materials that could easily leak into the water table.

Katie Rowlett reports:

Public inquiry into asbestos dumping at quarry

Bath and North East Somerset Council had rejected the application. Credit: ITV News West Country

A public inquiry begins today into plans to dump asbestos at Stowey Quarry.

There's been opposition against the idea to put hazardous waste into the quarry near Bristol as it's close to Chew Valley Lake reservoir.

Bath and North East Somerset Council rejected the application but the company behind the plans pushed for the pubic inquiry which is now expected to last three days.


Funeral of asbestos campaigner

The funeral has been taking place of Debbie Brewer, the asbestos campaigner from Plymouth.

The 53-year-old died last week from mesothelioma - a lung cancer caused by the deadly substance.

The mother-of-three had been infected by the disease as a child after regularly cuddling her father as he returned home from work as an asbestos lagger at Devonport.

Click here for previous news coverage about Debbie.

  1. Jonathan Gibson

Tributes to asbestos campaigner who died aged 53

Tributes have been paid to Debbie Brewer, the Plymouth asbestos campaigner whose death was announced at the weekend. Debbie gained an international reputation for her work helping to raise awareness of the killer disease mesothelioma.

Her father had been an asbestos lagger at Devonport Dockyard - she was convinced that hugging him as a child exposed her to deadly asbestos fibres. Debbie was determined to make a difference right up to the end.

School asbestos warning: full report

A man from North Devon, whose wife died from an asbestos-related disease, has told MPs the government is not doing enough to remove the substance from schools.

He was talking on the day a report was released saying more than 75% of state schools contain asbestos.

Michael Lees' wife Gina, who was a teacher, died 12 years ago from a lung disease which a coroner blamed on exposure to asbestos in classrooms.

Today Mr Lees told the Education Select Committee the full scale of the problem was still not properly known.

Our political correspondent Bob Constantine reports:

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