Kent County Council is considering proposals to use seven sections of agriculture land on Romney Marsh near Lydd to dig out three million tonnes of shingle over 12 years.
If the plans progress, 46 hectares of land to the north of Lydd will be quarried by Brett Aggregates. Once completed the vast space remaining would be transformed into lakes. The proposals are currently out for public consultation.
A petition has been launched by residents to thwart the plans, stating that prevailing winds would blow dust and noise into people’s homes in Lydd, and large lorries would be moving shingle from dawn to dusk.
Kent County Councillor Tony Hill for Romney Marsh and Folkestone and Hythe MP Damian Collins are offering an alternative. Since the 1960s, thousands of tons of shingle have been placed in the sea, mainly at Jury’s Gap, as part of sea defences.
Much of it is washed out into the channel and a dredging vessel could be based at Rye to recover the shingle, which could then could be processed at Rye Harbour.
As the population grows there is a growing need for shingle, to build more homes. Shingle is mixed with sand and cement to make concrete for building foundations and service roads.
There are plans to build thousands of new homes in Kent in the next few years including 12,000 at Otterpool Farm near Folkstone and 5,700 at Chilmington Green, near Ashford.
Photo: Gill Roder