Fears Lydd will soon be nothing but a 'huge gravel pit'
LYDD could be turned into "one huge gravel pit" after four parcels of land in the town made it onto a shortlist of mineral extraction sites.
Last August the Herald reported that Brett Aggregates had identified five pieces of land around Lydd for potential sand and gravel excavation and wanted them included in the Kent County Council Minerals and Waste Development Framework.
KCC has now narrowed down its search for sites, and while the controversial Allen's Bank area has been struck off the preferred options list the other four remain and could be subjected to the removal of 250,000 tonnes of material a year, for seven years.
A public consultation day took place on Thursday to allow residents to meet officers from KCC.
Residents in Poplar Lane, Megan Close and Sycamore Close have welcomed the exclusion of Allen's Bank, which could have doubled the size of the present excavation site, bringing it to within metres of their gardens.
But the organisers of a mass petition signed by more than 800 Marsh residents have criticised KCC for including the other four sites, which are to the north and west of the town centre, on its latest list.
Bob Jones, who runs the Two Bob Shop in Lydd High Street with wife Jean, said: "The other four are simply not viable.
"They did test drilling eight years ago and there wasn't enough material there."
Michael Walsh, of The Derings, said: "The petition was signed by a huge number of people. Lydd would be turned into one huge gravel pit."
Janet Thomas, of Poplar Lane, said: "It's good news that Allen's Bank is not on this list, but they still want to bleed Lydd dry and I'm sick of it.
"They're stealing our land and not giving anything back. Nobody cares about the Marsh and it's all take, take, take."
KCC said the Allen's Bank site only had an estimated reserve of 0.3 tonnes and said excavation could damage Roman archaeological remains.
It said the list of sites would go through a third consultation phase before final decisions are made.
The deadline for comments in this round of consultation is July 23.
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To contact KCC, call 01622 696815 or e-mail email@example.com