A PROMINENT Hexham company has thrown its support behind a campaign against a quarry in the Tyne Valley.

Brewing company Fentimans, which is headquartered at Beaufront Park close to the proposed sand and gravel pit at Anick Grange, has added its voice to the campaign.

In November, Thompsons of Prudhoe unveiled proposals to work the 90-hectare site near Egger for the next 25 years, creating 10 on-site jobs.

The proposals were met with stiff opposition by local residents, who formed the Save Tyne Valley Group.

The group, which Fentimans has now pledged to support, is concerned about the extra volume of traffic.

The company has echoed these concerns, raising issues about the noise and dust caused by the extra 50 lorries travelling to and from the quarry, and the potential damage to farming land.

The company’s CEO, Ian Bray, said: “We strongly oppose the suggested quarry site, as it would devastate 90 hectares of the very best farming land and cause significant environmental disruption to the surrounding area.

“This land is in the green belt and it is grade two quality, which is the highest you can get in Northumberland. Only three per cent of the county’s farmland is grade two, so it seems short-sighted to dig it all up and deny its use to future generations.”

The site is identified in the draft Northumberland Local Plan, which is now in the final week of public consultation.

Thompsons say the site is necessary to meet the need for sand and gravel in the county.

A spokesman for the company said: “We think comments are a little premature.

“We would ask people to wait until we submit the applications, bearing in mind we are a local employer. We have been in this industry for decades and we will deal with this sensitively.

“We haven’t yet submitted a planning application, which would address people’s concerns.”