Residents fight against Leicestershire quarry's expansion plans

Work on site at the Mountsorrel Quarry Credit: ITV News Central

People living by one of the largest quarries in Europe are starting a fight to stop it from getting even bigger.

Granite has been taken from the ground at the Mountsorrel Quarry in Leicestershire for more than 150 years, but now the firm which runs it says new stone is running low.

Lafarge Tarmac says the site produces and distributes around four million tonnes of crushed granite each year, which is used in construction projects throughout the East Midlands, as well as nationally thanks to its rail freight link at nearby Barrow-upon-Soar.

However the firm say if it does not increase the size of the Mountsorrel quarry, reserves will run out in four years.

The planning application for the new area they say could secure the quarry until 2040.

But it means moving conveyor belts and crushers, the current location appearing as a black line in the map above, the new locations the red line closer to homes in Quorn.

Work on site at the Mountsorrel Quarry Credit: ITV News Central

The Quorn Against Quarry group has recently been set up to fight against Lafarge's planning application which was issued to Leicestershire County Council in January.

Joan Davies lives on Leicester Road very near the quarry, and says she feels Lafarge hasn't been upfront about its plans to expand.

She says she's had to pester Leicestershire County Council & Lafarge for information about the scheme, and she's now setting up the group to let other people in the villages of Quorn & Mountsorrel know more about the plans.

Along with two other Quorn residents, Jane Cartwright-Sykes & Robert Nash, the group has set up a Facebook page to try to rally support for their campaign.

Quorn Against Quarry Facebook Page

Mr Nash says he doesn't feel enough information has been provided by Lafarge or the county council.

In response, a spokesman for Leicestershire County Council said:

The quarry in Mountsorrel has been used to extract granite since the 1850s. Credit: ITV News Central

Lafarge also issued a statement, saying:

The firm went on to say the proposals for the development at Mountsorrel have been 'consistently and widely' communicated, and from May 2012, 5000 people have attended open days to the site, with follow up exhibitions in both villages in 2012 and 2013.

It also said the Mountsorrel Quarry liaison committee has been 'fully informed throughout'.

Despite this residents say they're going to keep up their campaign against the planning application.

They'll have until later this year, when the final decision will be made.

Watch: Chris Halpin's full report on the quarry expansion row here