PLANS to include the Purple Haze quarry in Hampshire’s Minerals and Waste Plan have moved forward after a draft plan was sent to the Secretary of State.

The council proposes to turn the 70-hectare site just outside Verwood which is linked with Moors Valley County Park, into a quarry and eventually a landfill site.

An independent planning inspector is now reviewing the ‘soundness’ of the plans.

A public inquiry will be held later this year.

The Friends of Ringwood Forest (FoRF) – the umbrella group which runs the No to Purple Haze campaign – is still urging the county council to withdraw the site from its plan.

They are concerned about the sites closeness to Ebblake Bog, an internationally-designated site.

Concerns have also been raised by Natural England who said in their submissions an “appropriate exclusion zone” should be agreed to protect the SSSI.

FoRF say concessions they are disappointed suggested during the council’s debate about Purple Haze in October have not been included in their submission to the Government.

These included reducing the potential extraction area, moving it 800 metres from the town’s 14,500 or more residents.

Sarah Sumner, vice chair of FoRF, said: “We are very concerned that the mitigation in the development considerations cannot be achieved to protect Ebblake Bog.”

She added: “To still include Purple Haze in the plan with the amount of public opinion against it, shows no regard for the feelings of local people and users of Moors Valley.

“We don’t agree that the methods that HCC propose to protect Ebblake Bog are enough and have been researched and scientifically proven.”

Cllr Mel Kendal, executive member for environment and transport at Hampshire County Council, said no amendments to the plan relating to Purple Haze were agreed at the meeting in October.

He said: “The matters raised by Purple Haze campaigners have been considered and Natural England has raised no objection to the council's approach.”

He said development line remains the same to allow for flexibility including the protection of Ebblake Bog.

Cllr Kendal added: “The details of any conditions on the development of the Purple Haze site can only be finalised when a planning application is made. We are nowhere near that stage yet.”