Harbour alternative to quarry

Work on the sea defences at Jury's Gap (above) near Camber could be an alternative source of shingle

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


  1. The danger to pedestrians and other road users caused by the existing heavy traffic coming from the gravel quarries at Lydd has been a subject of repeated complaints and questions at East Guldeford Parish meetings in recent years.
    When we had a PCSO, before the ‘improvements’, he took an active role in trying to ensure better driving standards but nothing, we discovered when we contacted the authorities in Kent, could be done to restrict the endless procession of heavily laden trucks rumbling along our already crumbling roads. Kent had inexplicably allowed a huge number of possible daily journeys in the original planning consent, far more than were already causing such disruption. Perhaps now we know why?
    This is not a problem solely for we denizens of the Marsh. The heavy trucks run right through Rye, clogging South Undercliff and, of course, beyond. It is in everyone’s interests to try to stop this expansion which will of be of no benefit to local people.

  2. Those with a long memory will remember that dredging for shingle is exactly what was set up at Rye Harbour 20 – 30 years ago. But it became uneconomic in a downturn and was closed down after a short period. For many years afterwards the shingle sorting machinery & conveyors were on the site.
    Much of the shingle for the channel tunnel was dredged from the seabed off Hythe and transported to the site via pipeline in the late 1980s/early 1990s.
    General dredging of the sea bed is not permitted, permission has to be sought for specific areas to avoid damage to fish nurseries.

  3. Neil, understand what you are saying but that doesn’t mean it can’t work now. The technology I’m sure has come a long way since then. This digging has gotta stop or we will be under the sea if it keeps going..


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