Opponents have launched a legal challenge to plans for a quarry off the A12 approved earlier this year by Suffolk County Council. 

The legal action is being taken by Bentley Parish Council and a Bentley resident who are a seeking a judicial review into the authority's decision and is being supported by Copdock and Washbrook Parish Council.

The legal challenge has been formally lodged at the Royal Courts of Justice.

The quarry, located on a 35.7-hectare site off the A12 at Brockley Wood between Belstead and Bentley, was approved in March by Suffolk County Council.

East Anglian Daily Times: The quarry proposal received more than 100 objections at the planning stage.The quarry proposal received more than 100 objections at the planning stage. (Image: Bentley Parish Council)

Councillor Marianne Munday, chair of Bentley Parish Council, said: “Along with a wide range of local bodies and individuals, Bentley Parish Council had campaigned against industrialisation of the wonderful tract of valued landscape which is now proposed not only for the working of sand and gravel, but a major waste processing and concrete crushing plant sited right next to our ancient woodlands (with their protected species) and residents living in Grade 2* listed buildings.

“It is deeply concerned, as are residents, about the impacts of 160 HGVs per day ‘at the gates of the village’ and the potential for these HGVs to travel through our narrow lanes which are totally unsuited to accommodate this traffic, but to which navigation systems will undoubtedly direct this traffic when the trunk roads are congested, as they routinely are.

“The parish council was so dismayed by Suffolk County Council’s treatment of the planning application and its lack of respect for our local rural communities that, quite exceptionally, it has taken advice from leading and junior counsel who are well versed in the field, and requested the bringing of judicial review proceedings to challenge this decision together with a Bentley resident.”

The planning application, which would see 2.8-million tonnes extracted over a 15-year period,  received 120 objections with concerns over noise and traffic.

East Anglian Daily Times:

Christopher Hudson, the Conservative Suffolk county councillor for Belstead Brook, also criticised the plan

A High Court judge is expected to decide whether to take the case to a full hearing by June 26.

A Suffolk County Council spokesperson said: “Suffolk County Council has received notification that Bentley Parish Council and an individual are seeking to challenge the council’s decision to grant planning permission for land allocated in the adopted 2020 Minerals and Waste Local Plan to be used for gravel extraction and infilling with inert waste.

"The county council will be defending this decision if the case is accepted by the court.”