Gravel by canal as an excuse

Published: Wednesday, 08 July 2009

CEMEX is using the excuse that it will transport gravel by the Trent & Mersey Canal as a ploy to get planning permission to start extraction at three new sites.

But protestors at Fradley, (pictured) Alrewas and Kings Bromley by the waterway are stepping up their efforts to stop the ‘disastrous' 20 years extraction of millions of tonnes of sand and gravel near their homes.

The company want to extract an estimated 27 million tonnes and include processing plants, but protestors are not only organising marches and demonstrations near the proposed sites but plan to have stalls at various shows throughout the area.

Protesters are also using the wildlife 'card', pointing out that there are confirmed endangered species that would be under threat if the excavation went ahead. That include six species of red flagged bird, badgers, barn owls and bats on the sites.

Anne Anderson, who is heading the campaign group, relates:

"We're continuing to gather information about the places earmarked for the project. We've also carried out a traffic survey around the sites and we've discovered there are already too many vehicles in the area. If the project's approved, the lorries travelling to and from the processing plants would make the roads far too congested."

In answer to this Cemex has stated it plans to transport gravel on the Trent & Mersey Canal, but this is a shallow narrow canal, with neither the waterway or the locks now being able to take the very deep draughted loaded gravel boats.

It was Cemex, that with much fanfare, announced it was transporting gravel on the Gloucester & Sharpness Canal, with one load passing though a lock some two years ago, and absolutely nothing since, and the proposed terminal never being built.