PLANS to expand a Bacup quarry could be quashed amid objections from councillors.

Bosses at Tong Quarry believe the site must be enlarged to safeguard jobs.

But officers at Rossendale Council, who were consulted on the project by Lancashire County Council, have recommended that the scheme is refused because of problems caused by heavy goods vehicles passing through the town.

Steve Hughes and Helen Jackson, both Labour councillors for Bacup’s Irwell ward, have also objected to the proposals to extend the 8.6 hectare site by another four hectares.

Coun Jackson said: “I am extremely concerned by this application. Current access is causing major and continuous problems for residents along the route the trucks take, especially on South Street and Gladstone Street. I would vehemently oppose any extension of use of the site”

Coun Hughes added: “There are massive issues with access to this site as it really does affect local residents.”

Jim Laycock, who runs the quarry, currently employs eight people, but said some would have to be let go if the site was not allowed to expand.

In his application, Mr Laycock said: “If planning permission is not granted, employment in the quarry is likely to fall to two people from mid-2014 as the quarry begins to close down.”

In his report, planning officer Neil Birtles said: “Unless the county council is satisfied that there is a compelling need for extraction of the shale and fireclay to be found here in order to meet sub-regional requirements, I consider the harm to residents’ amenities such as to warrant refusal of the application.”