A CONTROVERSIAL planning application that could see a former quarry reopen after almost 100 years looks set to go before councillors – more than two years after it was originally submitted.

Haltwhistle-based Border Stone Quarries submitted an application to quarry sandstone from Prudham Quarry near Frankham, Fourstones.

The quarry has been closed since 1920, bar a brief attempt to reopen it in the 1970s.

A spokeswoman for Northumberland County Council said: “This is an active application which is still under consideration by the council’s planning team.

“The applicant has provided some additional information in response to issues raised, and we have therefore provided a further period of consultation in which people have an opportunity to comment on this, before a decision is taken. We expect that the application will be considered by the strategic planning committee within the next couple of months.”

However, the application has been met with staunch opposition from residents, with more than 160 objections posted online.

Complaints have centred around an increase in noise caused by quarry work and concerns about large flatbed trucks using the roads in the area.

Furthermore, concerns have been raised about the impact of reopening the quarry on local wildlife, with the area home to the rare red squirrel and dingy skipper butterfly.

The area’s wildlife has attracted royal attention – in 2015, Prince Harry walked through Frankham woods hoping to catch sight of a red squirrel.

The quarry is also the site of a body of water known as ‘The Blue Lagoon’ by Tynedale residents.

Frankham resident Judith Whitaker said: “This has just been going on and on. Border Stone Quarries applied over two years ago, with Northumberland County Council periodically accepting amendments.

“This approach appears to suggest a war of attrition.

“The application again minimises the local animal population. There are badgers, foxes and hares in the area, and the site is known for red squirrels.”

Residents have until June 25 to submit comments. Border Stone Quarries was contacted but declined to comment on the issue.