Quarry worry for farming land

Farm: Lower Hall Farm in Samlesbury
Farm: Lower Hall Farm in Samlesbury
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A public meeting has been called over concerns farmland is to be turned into a major quarry development.

County Councillor Barrie Yates said he has been told that Buckinghamshire-based Harleyford Aggregates intend to submit plans this summer for Lower Hall Farm in Potters Lane, Samlesbury, which has been worked by the same family of tenant farmers for 90 years.

The land, near to Brockholes Nature Reserve, is owned by Booths Charities, based in Salford.

Harleyford Aggregates has previously expressed an interest in extracting around three million tons of sand and gravel from the land, and the Evening Post has seen documents from agent John Cowley reiterating their intention, though he was unavailable for comment yesterday.

Coun Yates said: “The agent’s told me that even though no plans have gone in yet, they will be soon.”

He added: “I’m hearing a lot of concerns from local people.”

Now members of South Ribble Eastern Area Residents Action Group (SREARAG) have arranged an open meeting for 7.30pm on Monday, June 23 at Samlesbury Memorial Hall, Cuerden Lane.

A spokesman for the group said: “Everyone is up in arms in Samlesbury, because all this Green Belt land is going to be decimated.

“The stewardship the tenant farmers have given that land is second to none, and now they face being turfed off.

He added: “Wildlife such as birds, badgers and Great Crested Newts will be affected, and nobody wants to see 50 42-ton lorries coming and going everyday, entering onto a dual carriageway from a standing start.

“The development would also cut across a 30 inch gas line and the main water mains from Thirlmere.”

The farmers and Booth Charities declined to comment.