Prospective Conservative MP, Derek Thomas took Fisheries Minister, George Eustice MP, to Dean Quarry to see the potential impact of the proposed breakwater on the recently designated Marine Conservation Zone.
George Eustice and Derek Thomas met local resident and businessman, Toby Roskilly, who provided a brief summary of the super quarry proposal and took them to the site of the proposed breakwater. The breakwater is to be created to provide protection for two jetties that will be used to load barges with rock armour material to be transported to Swansea. ,P>George Eustice said, "Derek Thomas has raised with me local concerns about the impact of Dean Quarry on the newly designated Manacles Marine Conservation Zone. I wanted to visit the site and meet residents to see first-hand the proposals for Dean Quarry. I will be passing back concerns about the scope of the impact assessment to the Marine Management Organisation. The Manacles is home to a rich and diverse marine environment and I want to ensure we do not damage this newly designated site."
Derek Thomas said, "Concerns about the proposal to reopen Dean Quarry to extract millions of tonnes of rock armour are well documented and it is difficult to see how this project has any benefits for communities on the Lizard and for Cornwall as a whole. I will do everything I can to ensure this does not go ahead. I have discussed the Dean Quarry Breakwater with incoming Chief Officer, Sam Davis of IFCA (Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority) and with Fisheries Minister, George Eustice MP on a number of occasions. George's visit to the site itself will help to ensure that everybody concerned is properly informed about the risk to the MCZ if the breakwater is allowed to go ahead."
Derek and George then went to the home of David and Amanda Waller in St Keverne to meet a number of local business men and women from the area to hear how their livelihoods will be affected if the quarry proposal is permitted. Diving on the Manacles and the coastline along the quarry site is a significant draw to the area for tourists and the Manacles offer rich fishing grounds for the local inshore fleet.
Following this meeting Amanda Waller commented, "We are extremely pleased to see that the many issues surrounding Shire Oaks proposals for Dean Quarry are being taken seriously. The proposed industrialisation of the area would have a devastating impact on the Marine Conservation Zone and the wider environment as well as the sustainable local industries that our communities rely on. It is encouraging that Derek Thomas and George Eustice both recognise this and have pledged their support to our campaign".
Photo: left to right Toby Roskilly, George Eustice and Derek Thomas at Dean Quarry.
The Manacles MCZ is an inshore site located on the southern coast of Cornwall which covers a total area of approximately 3.5 km2. The MCZ extends 2 km from the coastline to encompass a series of large underwater rocky outcrops, known as The Manacles.