A PUBLIC consultation has opened into Hampshire’s Minerals and Waste Plan – giving campaigners the chance to voice concerns over plans to use Moors Valley for gravel and sand extraction.

Thousands of people protested after it emerged seven hectares of the beauty spot were earmarked for aggregate extraction in the 20-year plan.

The No2PurpleHaze campaign was launched, which became the Friends of Ringwood Forest, backed by thousands of residents and bankrolled by concerned locals, one of whom gave £10,000 to the fighting fund.

Despite those fears being raised, the allocation remains in the revised document, which has now been published for public comments.

The area, close to Verwood, is planned to yield up to 250,000 tonnes of sand and gravel a year from a site running alongside the B3081, after which the hole will be filled with non-hazardous landfill and then the area will be restored. The process would take decades.

The eight week public consultation period ends on December 17 at 5pm.

Councillor Mel Kendal, deputy leader and executive member for environment and transport at Hampshire County Council, said: “With a document of this significance some changes for improvement are to be expected following public examination.

“However the vast majority of the changes included are relatively minor.”

He added: “People need to be clear, however, that the consultation is only seeking comments on the identified proposed changes and not the entirety of the draft plan.”

Go to consult.hants.gov.uk /file/2297277 to view the porposed changes. People can comment by emailing planning.policy@hants.gov.u k, calling 01962 846591 or writing to HMWP Proposed Changes, County Planning – ETE Department, EII Court West, The Castle, Winchester, SO23 8UD.