THE two councils that will decide whether a quarry can be opened in Cranage and Allostock have received more than 1,000 objections to the scheme.

Cheshire East Council received more than 260 letters of objection before it gave Sibelco the green light to extract sand at the Rudheath Lodge Farm site last month.

And ahead of a special planning meeting to seal the site’s fate on June 21, Cheshire West and Chester Council has received 740 objections from members of the public – with another two weeks for comments to come in.

Gareth Woods, part of the Residents Against Quarrying campaign group, spoke against the proposal at CEC’s planning meeting and believes that decision has spurred the public on to fight against the scheme.

“There have been quite a few residents since that hearing who have really drummed up a lot of support for our campaign,” he said.

“A lot of people have looked at CEC’s decision, wondered how that has happened, and want to make sure that CWAC’s decision goes in residents’ favour.

“These objections are not just from local people who don’t want it in their own back yard, they are well thought out.”

With the site straddling the border between both Cheshire boroughs, the two councils need to give permission for the scheme.

Sibelco currently operates Dingle Bank Quarry, in Lower Withington, which is due to close in 2020 – and at last month’s meeting councillors were told that sand is still needed by glassworks in St Helens.

Cllr Lesley Smetham, Lower Withington’s ward councillor on CEC, said Sibelco didn’t cause residents any concern in her own ward.

However,  Cllr Mark Stocks, CWAC ward member for Allostock, said: “I have some grave concerns with the development.

“Because it is a rural area, the impact on local highways would be significant.”

Cllr Andrew Kolker, Conservative CEC member for Dane Valley, spoke against Sibelco’s plans at last month’s meeting as ward councillor for Cranage.

Following that meeting, Cllr Kolker said: “You’ve got an awful lot of heavy traffic, up to 100 lorries a day, moving through Holmes Chapel, past the primary school, down a B road.

“I just hope [CWAC councillors] give the debate due diligence, listen to the arguments made by residents and come up with a good decision.”