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Bid to block proposed Dorset quarry that would encroach on Lawrence of Arabia’s final resting place

PUBLISHED: 12:21 15 September 2015 | UPDATED: 12:21 15 September 2015

Lawrence of Arabia in 1919

Lawrence of Arabia in 1919

Archant

The T.E. Lawrence Society has launched an impassioned bid to block a proposed Dorset quarry that threatens their hero’s grave.

The Society reacted angrily to news that Dorset County Council has allocated a 145-acre pit - fields that have been farmed for generations - that would encroach on Moreton, Lawrence of Arabia’s final resting place.

Their muscular petition - entitled Let Lawrence of Arabia Rest in Peace - received 100 signatures on the first day alone. George Flint, who proposed the petition, said: “Dorset County Council is considering allowing the quarrying of sand and gravel half a mile from the grave of T. E. Lawrence. The noise and disruption caused by the constant movement of trucks would destroy the peace of this wonderful place. Please join me in urging Dorset County Council to stop this proposed act of vandalism.”

Alan Payne, the society’s vice-chairman and a former planning officer, has also lobbied the council to think again, saying: “Moreton is an oasis set in a part of Dorset which has been adversely affected by mineral working, housing development and by the nearby military training area. The village is of international importance.

The National Planning Policy Framework makes it quite clear that as regards mineral workings, local authorities should ‘set out environmental criteria, in line with the policies in this Framework, against which planning applications will be assessed so as to ensure that permitted operations do not have unacceptable adverse impacts on the natural and historic environment’.

“What is now being proposed is a development which will adversely affect the final resting place of one of the most important figures of the 20th Century and a valued destination for thousands of visitors, who also make a contribution to the local economy.”

The council has stressed that no final decision has yet been made, inviting members of the public to voice their objections to Moreton’s Station Road site before the September 23 deadline.

Find out more at dorsetforyou.com and click on Draft Mineral Sites Plan then click on AS-25 from the list. To sign the society’s petition visit change.org and in the search box put Lawrence of Arabia.

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