Hundreds sign petition to keep quarry open

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Around 850 people have signed a petition to keep their last remaining local pit open.

Brackenhill Quarries in Ackworth, which mines stone, applies for planning permission to continue running every 14 years.

Although there is no imminent threat of closure to the pit, the building of homes around the site have stoked fears the quarry may be judged a noise and pollution hazard when Wakefield Council next reviews it.

If this is the case, the local authority could force it to stop running.

Jon Hardman, is leading the campaign. He said: “There’s a strong sense of community feeling about the quarry. A lot of people feel that it is being sidelined and it might shut because it’s close to so many houses. 

“It’s part of the heritage of the village. There used to be lots of pits in the area but they’ve all been closed, filled in and had houses put on them.

“The council will have to listen to us now because so many people have come together with a single voice on this.

Mr Hardman said that homes had been built near the site without “any regard for its future”.

The owner of Brackenhill Quarries, Stephen Parker, inherited the business from his father. It has been in the family name since 1926.

Mr Parker said he was grateful to the community for their support.

He said: “One of the problems is there’s no barrier between the quarry and the houses, which isn’t fair on me or on the people living in the houses.

“I’d just like to say a big thank you to the people who organised the petition and then a thank you to all those who signed it. 

“It’s a business that’s being going on a long time and it’s part of Ackworth.

“It is my livelihood, it is my pension and I wouldn’t want to see it taken away from me.”

Wakefield Council confirmed they had received the petition and that the issues raised would be taken into consideration.