Member of Parliament for Tamworth and Hopwas, Christopher Pincher, has described Lafarge Tarmac's announcement that it will withdraw its Hopwas Wood quarry plans as "good news and the right decision". Mr Pincher has been campaigning for a rethink since the proposals were announced last month. To date his petition on his website numbers over 2000 people saying "no" to quarrying which would destroy acres of ancient woodland. As recently as the morning of Lafarge Tarmac's announcement, Mr Pincher raised the subject with William Hague in the House of Commons calling for a debate on the issue. He said:
May we have a debate on the importance of ancient woodland in the west midlands? In my constituency, proposals for HS2, despite some recent mitigations, will do significant damage to ancient woodland near to Hints, and now Lafarge Tarmac has announced that it wants to demolish vast tracts of ancient woodland in Hopwas wood in order to quarry for gravel, outraging my constituents. A debate would allow us to discuss the importance of ancient woodland and how we can protect it.
Following the announcement from the company last Thursday that they will ask Staffordshire County Council to withdraw Hopwas Wood from its Local Mineral Plan, Mr Pincher commented:
"This is good news and the right decision. We simply cannot accept great swathes of ancient and irreplaceable woodland being cut down. Hopwas Wood is an important part of our local heritage full of wonderful wildlife and natural beauty. I am very grateful for all the effort so many people have put in to persuade Lafarge Tarmac to a change of heart. The Friends of Hopwas Woods have worked very hard and I would also like to thank local County Councillor Alan White and County Council Leader Philip Atkins for their clear understanding and support."
"People power works because it won the day."
"We must now make sure of the long term plans Lafarge Tamworth have for their property. We must ask them to safeguard it."
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