People in Hesleden say they have had to contend with issues including “intrusive” noise, dust, fumes and large numbers of HGVs following the restoration of a nearby colliery spoil heap.
The quarry has been active for four years and now B&S Recycling is looking for permission to extend works to 2033 due to 256,000 tonnes of combustible materials still needing to be moved.
The company says work has been delayed by Covid and that “a limestone cliff of high geological and ecological significance has been identified”.
Two public meetings have been held by concerned residents over the plans and more than 30 objections have been submitted to Durham County Council.
Maureen Wells, who moved to the village last year in the belief work would end next year, said: “There’s the traffic, there’s the noise, the dust, the vibrations and also it’s your quality of life. We’ve had no quality of life.
“Our windows, our gardens, you can’t sit in your garden because of the amount of dust that’s coming off these lorries.
“People have already said they will not live with that, they would either have to move or to find help.”
Under the new proposals, the applicant is looking to undertake nine years of operational excavation of limestone and sand with a 12-month restoration scheme to follow.
A supporting statement outlines how the project has faced delays due to Covid-19 along with the discovery of more combustible material than anticipated.
It said: “In order to complete the following restoration objectives of the site the additional earthwork and time is required.
“A limestone cliff of high geological and ecological significance has been identified extending the full length of the site.
“More uncovering work is required to further expose this limestone cliff face.
"We are currently in discussions about the benefits of the restoration and potential long-term management of the site by a local trust.”
Current planning permission allows for HGVs to enter and leave the site a combined total of 44 times each weekday and 22 journeys on Saturdays.
Retired Ms Wells, 69, urged residents to lodge objections with Durham County Council with further information available via [email protected]