CONTROVERSIAL plans for a sand and gravel quarry near Fourstones have been dropped. 

The West Wharmley site was identified in the draft Northumberland Local Plan as a potential quarry, with two million tonnes of sand and gravel to be extracted. 

But land owners Leazes Estate has now decided not to pursue the extraction after a company interested in extracting sand and gravel failed to provide more information on any potential scheme's design.

A spokesman for Leazes Estate said: "There appears to be a major misunderstanding here.

"A planning application has not been submitted in connection with sand and gravel extraction at Wharmley, nor is any such application likely to be submitted in the foreseeable future.

"North East Concrete approached Leazes Estate in 2018 wishing to look into the possibility of extracting sand and gravel from estate land beside the South Tyne.

"Representations were submitted to Northumberland County Council to seek to assess whether or not such a scheme might be considered under the NCC emerging development plan.

"NCC have included the Wharmley site in their draft development plan that is currently out to consultation.

"In the absence of further info from North East Concrete to show how an extraction and restoration scheme might be designed and implemented in a way that deals with aspects of highways , ecology , visual amenity , noise mitigation etc. for the local community, Leazes Estate have concluded that the extraction of sand and gravel at the Wharmley site is not something that they wish to pursue at the present moment in time.

"NCC will be informed of this and asked to withdraw the allocation from their draft development plan."

The plans had raised concerns with local residents. 

An action group had been set up over fears that a scheme would have a negative impact on the local area, in particular on house prices and on the local school.