Council backs residents in planning fight
FEARS have been raised about the loss of quality of life for Treviscoe residents if expansion plans by china clay giant Imerys are approved.
Imerys proposes to develop a concrete blocks manufacturing plant on land north of the 29-acre former Kernick Mica Dam site at Little Treviscoe.
The firm also wants to export sand and gravel, saying it will produce 12 million concrete blocks a year and 130,000 tonnes per year of sand and gravel.
Imerys said the development will create between 20 and 30 jobs and safeguard and promote the long-term viability of the china clay industry in mid-Cornwall.
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But the plans have sparked opposition with locals who say it will bring hundreds more lorries thundering through the village, which is already blighted by large vehicles and HGVs.
On Wednesday, members of St Stephen-in-Brannel Parish Council's planning committee refused to support the application.
Parish councillor Keith Wonnacott criticised Imerys' proposals and said the firm had failed to come up with a solution to contend with the 90 lorries a day that would be running through the village, alongside the incinerator traffic, once the plant is fully operational.
"It will be one lorry every three minutes, he said.
"I will argue at any meeting that the infrastructure in and around Treviscoe is not suitable."
"Yes, there is a need for jobs but 30 jobs are not significant enough to ruin the quality of life of the people of Treviscoe," he added
Resident Trish May, 67, whose home is on the main road, spoke out at the meeting.
She said: "The houses alongside the narrow road through the village suffer, not only from the thundering noise of passing lorries, but from the circulation of dust from clay works and CO2 emissions exacerbated by the existing stream of lorries, cars and buses. Further heavy vehicle movements will only increase the problem."
Vehicles are currently forced to mount the pavement, lorries reverse, pedestrians jump into hedges, and the railway bridge has been damaged several times, while the grade two listed Trerice Bridge takes the strain from the weight of the lorries.
She said: "St Dennis will have the incinerator but we will have all the traffic.
"We have children, we have babies, we have old people in the community and we cannot take anymore."
John Hodkin, Imerys' business development service manager, said there was an "emerging aggregates market" and the jobs created would be "beneficial to the community".
The firm is looking at the existing rail line to transport the blocks, sand and gravel to reduce traffic. It is also considering if its existing haul roads could be used.