Campaigners call for quarry to be turned into country park near Rugby - but businesses have plans to turn it into composting facility

Shawell Quarry has been used for its sand and gravel supplies since 1958 under a temporary permit which is now coming to an end.

Campaigners want the quarry to be turned into a country park
Campaigners want the quarry to be turned into a country park

Campaigners are calling for a quarry to be turned into a country park, despite landowners plans to continue using it for business.

Shawell Quarry near Rugby has been used for its sand and gravel supplies since 1958 under a temporary permit which is now coming to an end.

And campaign group Nature Now or Never say part of its mineral and waste policy means the land must be restored when the quarry is no longer in use.

They are calling for Leicestershire County Council and Harborough District Council to ensure promises and policies are honoured, and go one step further by turning the site into a country park.

But businesses and landowners of the site - Tarmac, Beauparc and BMI Redland – have applied to keep using it even after the permit ends, by bringing a composting facility back into use.

The factory, off Gibbet Lane at the end of the village, was closed down in 2017 due to commercial difficulties before being purchased by current owners.

Protestors are set to campaign against the plans outside the quarry this Saturday (October 29).

Group spokeswoman Natasha Raven said: “The area has suffered because of the quarry and it’s gotten worse and worse.

“Lorry movements have been a real blight on our area, the composting plant that was put in as part of the landfill process was actually closed down because of the awful problems with the smell and flies.

“We’ve patiently been waiting for it to come to an end, but unfortunately the businesses who own the site have put in various planning applications to extend the industrial life of the land there.

“The whole area has just been engulfed by industrialisation and there’s nothing to compensate for that for the wildlife or the communities.

“We’re proposing not only should the policies be honoured and they shouldn’t be able to U-turn on what they’ve agree for all these years, but we and the wildlife in our area deserve better.

“We’re pushing for a country park which would be an amazing resource for an area in which, although it is rural, is really blighted by industrialisation.”

Tarmac has said it will liaise with the community over any future plans and suggestions have been put forward to return some of the land to nature.

But campaigners say it will not work.

“Tarmac have added in these token effort little pocket parks and it’s not good enough,” Natasha said.

“The HGVs on that road are frightening, there is absolutely no way I would take a child on a bike anywhere near that area.

“It goes against what has been agreed, the whole site has been agreed to be returned to greenfield and we need to have that honoured.”

A Tarmac spokeswoman said: “We made a submission to Harborough District Council relating to the future of our Shawell Quarry site as part of the council’s recent strategic housing and employment land availability assessment.

“Harborough District Council is now reviewing those submissions as part of its plans for future growth. We appreciate the concerns raised and will engage with the local community as the proposals progress.”