HC Deb 17 May 1928 vol 217 cc1198-9
43. Sir R. THOMAS

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is aware that a portion of the Wye Valley below Symonds Vat, belonging to the Crown, has been leased to a company for the purpose of quarrying stone; that blasting and stone-crushing go on continuously, Sundays and weekdays; that the scenic beauties of the locality and the fishing in that part of the river are being ruined; and whether, in view of the national value of this place as a beauty spot and tourist resort, he will take steps to cancel the agreement with this company and put a stop to these operations?

Sir LEOLIN FORESTIER-WALKER (Forestry Commissioner)

I have been asked to reply. Martin's Pool Quarry referred to has been let for a term expiring in 1945, and it is not proposed to take steps to cancel the tenancy, but the lease provides that the lessees are not to use or allow anything to be done in the working of the quarry which shall, in the opinion of the Forestry Commissioners, interfere with the amenities of the neighbourhood, and every effort has been and will he made to ensure that this provision is complied with. The Department have recently been in communication with the lessees on the matter, and it is understood that heavy blasting has been stopped and smaller charges are now being used. The question of limiting the times of blasting is under discussion. The river is 40 feet below the bottom of the quarry and there is a belt of trees between the river and the quarry, so that very little of the quarrying can be seen from the river. The quarry is not visible from the Yat Rock or south of the river.


Does the hon. Gentleman say that these people are not allowed to work on Sunday?


That is one of the questions that are now under discussion.


Is the hon. Gentleman not aware that it is against the custom and the amenities of the neighbourhood to allow anyone to quarry stone on Sundays, and will he use his influence to prevent this taking place?