Green Party in England & Wales
Green Party supports campaigners to save Thornborough Henges from Tarmac's bulldozers
North Yorkshire County Council has bowed to pressure from TimeWatch, Friends of Thornborough, the Yorkshire and Humber Green Party and English Heritage. The Planning and Regulatory Functions Committee finally rejected the application by Tarmac Northern to quarry within 700 meters of the historic Thornborough Henges yesterday. However Tarmac quickly confirmed that they will be taking this decision to appeal, so it is not finished yet.
Peter Sanderson, of Yorkshire Green Party, said: "It's great news that North Yorkshire has seen sense and rejected Tarmac's application. Thornborough is gaining a national profile, which will help if Tarmac decides to appeal at a public inquiry. Thornborough is of immense heritage value, and this has got to outweigh quarrying for plain old gravel."
The Henges are regarded as one of Britain's most important ancient sites, and are part of possibly the largest prehistoric religious gathering site ever created in this country.
Quarrying at Thornborough is opposed by English Heritage, Council for British Archaeology and a number of archaeology and heritage organisations.
Campaign group TimeWatch have led a significant awareness campaign for Thornborough. Aided by other groups and as a result the application received 1007 letters of objection and a petition signed by 9,680 people was been delivered to North Yorkshire County Council, this demands that no quarrying be allowed within a mile of the Thornborough Henges. There have been thousands of online signatures to a further petition addressed to Tony Blair from all over the World.
English Heritage's response to the application stresses that the archaeological work, including the latest assessment, has identified a "swathe of nationally-important early prehistoric archaeology and activity," - a very different conclusion from that of the consultants employed by Tarmac "The leading supplier of building materials in the UK", who believe Thornborough fails to reach "thresholds of national importance." English Heritage's Neil Redfern attended the Planning Committee meeting in Masham yesterday and answered detailed questions from the Committee members.
In a recent press announcement, Dr Jan Harding, Senior Lecturer at Newcastle University has confirmed that the first monument at Thornborough, a mighty 1.2km ritual causeway, is aligned to the constellation Orion. Unfortunately this has already fallen victim to the quarrying at Thornborough. Dr. Harding spoke at the Planning Committee meeting in Masham yesterday, putting the case against quarrying the Ladybridge site on behalf of the combined objectors groups.