Neighbours demand answers over future of quarry

Marsden Quarry
Marsden Quarry

People living near a quarry have called for more information on its future amid newly confirmed takeover talks.

Ronnie Fenwick, 76, says residents have a right to know what plans are in store.

Ronnie Fenwick

Ronnie Fenwick

The revealed demolition firm G O’Brien & Sons is in discussions to buy the land.

The quarry’s owner, Owen Pugh Aggregates, went into administration in October and administrators are seeking a buyer.

Gordon O’Brien, managing director of G O’Brien & Sons, confirmed his company was negotiating for the site but has not responded to requests for further comment or clarification.

Mr Fenwick, whose home in Mill Lane, Marsden, is among those closest to the quarry, wants to know more about the company’s plans.

The retired colliery electrician said: “Residents want to know what is happening. I’d heard that O’Brien was interested in taking the quarry on but no one is sure what their plans are for it.

“For years, the residents have had the raggy end of the stick. The council really needs to step in now and stop quarrying.”

He added: “We have to dust our homes every day when the quarry is operating, it’s awful.

Another resident, who did not want to be named, said there were rumours the site would be used as landfill for food waste.

She ad)ded: “That has been going around. It is an option I think would be worse than the crushing of stone that was going on there until recently. There’s been a lot of complaints about the quarry for so many years that I think now most residents just want it shutting down.”

About 250 people lost their jobs when Owen Pugh Aggregates went into administration.

A skeleton team of less than 30 has been kept on at Marsden while administrator Grant Thornton searches for a buyer.

The company is believed to have crushed construction waste there for use on roads and developments.

Whitburn and Marsden Labour councillor Tracey Dixon has said she plans to meet with O’Brien should it take over the site, to ensure it worked with the community.

She has admitted that residents have long-standing concerns about the quarry’s operations.