The Welsh Government has been warned not to overturn a decision to block the expansion of Denbigh Quarry that would “destroy” a local beauty spot.
The Plaid Cymru group on Denbighshire County Council have said that Welsh Labour ministers should “respect” the democratic decision that has been made locally.
According to Cllr Delyth Jones, who is the leader of the Plaid Cymru group on Denbighshire County Council, as well as a member of the Planning Committee, to do otherwise would be to “demonstrate a disregard for local democracy”.
The Planning Committee on Denbighshire County Council recently voted to deny permission to expand Denbigh Quarry, with 16 votes against and one abstention.
The Welsh Government has now issued a holding note while it decides if it is going to call the decision in, which means the vote by the Planning Committee could potentially be overturned by ministers at a future date.
The proposed plan to expand Denbigh Quarry sparked a furious reaction from local residents, with 271 letters being sent to the Planning Committee opposing it.
The plan would have led to the destruction of versatile agricultural land and would have caused significant harm to the ancient woodland of Crest Wood, which is a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
Television presenter and naturalist Iolo Williams also backed the campaign to oppose the plan and called for new laws in Wales to punish anyone who cuts ancient trees.
Cllr Delyth Jones, who represents the Denbigh Caledfryn Henllan ward, said: “The Planning Committee has voted strongly to block the expansion of Denbigh Quarry which would have been bad for the environment, and bad for local people.
“There has been a strong campaign locally opposing the expansion, which would have destroyed versatile agricultural land and would have caused significant harm to beautiful ancient woodland that has been enjoyed by residents for generations.
“It should also be remembered that it is a Site of Special Scientific Interest. This ancient woodland is irreplaceable, and we need to do all that we can to protect it.
“The proposal to expand Denbigh Quarry sits outside the boundaries of the Local Development Plan that was agreed by county councillors.
“It is also clear that the increased production of limestone aggregate that would result from the expansion of the quarry is not required for our building needs locally.
“Therefore, the Labour Welsh Government should not call this decision. Instead, Labour Ministers should respect what has been decided by local representatives on behalf of local people.
“To do otherwise would be environmentally destructive, would demonstrate a disregard for local democracy and put the narrow interest of developers ahead of the interests of the community.”