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Cheshire sand quarry approved despite dust and fracking concerns

Cranage
Image caption The sand quarry is planned for a field in Cranage, near Holmes Chapel

Plans to quarry for silica sand on farmland in Cheshire have been approved by councillors, despite more than 800 objections.

Residents and anti-fracking groups campaigned against Sibelco's plans in Cranage near Holmes Chapel.

Concerns were raised that dust would cause a health risk, lorries would cause congestion and the sand could be used in the fracking process.

Sibelco said the quarry would provide "an economic boost" to the area.

The plans are to be referred to the Secretary of State for final approval.

'No benefit'

The global materials firm has a long history in supplying glass to some of the world's major glass producers.

Mike Hurley from the quarrying company told Cheshire West and Chester councillors the site would "maintain 120 jobs and provide a £90m boost to the local economy each year".

He added that the sand would be used in the production of glass in renewable energy, but did not elaborate on whether it would be used in the fracking process.

An identical letter submitted by hundreds of residents said the planned quarry "brings no benefit whatsoever to any local resident, business or visitor to the area."

"It is merely a plan to further industrialise prime Cheshire countryside," the letter said.

Part of the proposals are in the neighbouring borough of Cheshire East, where councillors granted planning permission in April 2018.

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