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Quarrying still the most unpopular form of development

Latest survey by Development Intelligence sees quarrying at bottom of table for third year running

OPPOSITION towards new quarries has hardened and quarrying is still the most unpopular form of development, recent research by strategy consultancy Development Intelligence has revealed.

DI Tracker, an annual survey commissioned by Development Intelligence, showed that three-quarters of people would oppose a new quarry in their local area and just one in 10 would support it.

The survey, carried out in late 2015, spoke to 2,005 British adults and found that twice as many people would be prepared to support fracking in their area rather than a quarry.

Quarrying also proved to be much less popular than other forms of development including waste facilities and power stations.

Quarrying remained rooted to the bottom of the table for the third year running, with power stations the second most unpopular form of development, followed by waste facilities and fracking.

The aggregates industry’s net approval rating was –65%, compared with –58% for waste facilities and –39% for fracking.

Nick Keable, chief executive of Development Intelligence, said the survey underlined the scale of the challenge facing aggregates firms who want to secure consent for new developments.

‘While housing developments, recycling facilities and even fracking have their supporters, it is clear that hardly anybody wants to see a quarry in their local area,’ he commented.

But he added that there is a huge gap between perception and reality in the aggregates industry.

‘The fact is that with modern noise- and dust-mitigation technologies, and advanced landscaping strategies, the vast majority of people are unlikely to even be aware that they live near to a quarry – but the industry faces a huge challenge in overcoming the negative public perception.’

Mr Keable said that while the vast majority of firms operating in the sector can boast a proud track record of restoring former quarry sites and even handing them over to local residents to become parks or public open spaces, aggregates firms still need to do much more to sell their success stories to local people and reassure them about the potential impact of their facilities.

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