RESIDENTS in ‘TE Lawrence’s’ village are claiming a victory after the extension of a consultation period into potential quarrying sites.

Earlier this month, residents in Moreton slammed proposals to create four quarries and develop hundreds of homes in their community.

Dorset County Council (DCC) is currently consulting on the county-wide Draft Mineral Sites Plan. Twenty-five sites have been suggested as part of the consultation, but not all will go ahead. DCC has prepared plans for three separate sites housing four quarries in Moreton. One could be up to 77.6 hectares in size off Station Road, one which could be 58.5 hectares in size off Station Road and another could be 14 hectares in size off Hurst Farm.

Purbeck District Council is also looking at proposals to build 900 homes in the area.

The consultation into the quarry plans was initially due to close on September 23, but DCC has confirmed that any representations made before 5pm on October 23 will be considered.

A spokesman for DCC said: “The consultation period continues until 23 September. Residents of the Moreton area who are concerned about proposed quarry sites in their area have requested that the consultation period be extended.

“To respond to these concerns, Dorset County Council has given assurances that it will continue to consider late representations and can confirm that any responses submitted up to 5pm on October 23 will be considered and included in the report to be prepared following the consultation. Beyond this date it is not possible to offer any assurance that representations may still be considered."

Moreton resident Deborah Collcutt welcomed the news of the consultation extension and urged residents to make their feelings known.

She said they were claiming the extension as a victory. She said: “We are delighted the council has realised that we need more time to prepare our objections to this. They have had years to think about these plans. We got our letters in July.”

She added: “It’s important people keep asking questions, ask them why they are doing it, why are Purbeck District Council wanting to build so many houses in such a small area. They need to ask questions about the consequences on wildlife.

“People need to ask questions and they need to complain and they need to hold the councils to account before it’s too late.”

John Wickenden has lived in Moreton for 11 years. He said that residents had been surprised and shocked, adding that many people had only heard about the DCC and PDC plans for the homes and quarries in August.

He said: “There’s a large amount of concern and a certain amount of outrage. It’s primarily at the quarrying plans.”

He urged people to attend meetings, sign petitions and submit their objections to the two councils.