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Labour in quarry row stand-off

CONSTRUCTION minister Nick Raynsford has confirmed he will not intervene to scale down extractions at a controversial sandstone quarry.

Conygar Quarry in north Somerset has been at the centre of a row over the level of extractions.

The quarry was closed down in the 1950s but re-opened in 1994 after permission was granted under a 1947 interim development order to extract 40,000 tonnes a year.

However, local residents have complained about the number of lorries visiting the quarry, a view backed by Dr Liam Fox, Conservative MP for Woodspring. In a Commons debate last week Dr Fox told MPs: 'I shall use my offices to investigate any way, any device and any project to make this quarry unviable.'

However, Mr Raynsford insisted: 'The legal avenues are closed and there is no further opportunity for the government to take any role in this case.'

He added that it would be up to the district council to decide if any action was needed before the next review of mineral permissions in 2012.