Al Fayed threatens to 'take council to hell'

Mohamed al Fayed today vowed to take Surrey County Council to court if plans to extend a sand quarry on greenbelt land are successful.

Mr al Fayed warned he would "take them to hell" if the quarry near his family home in Oxted, Surrey, is used for mineral extraction.

The plans would not only "destroy" English countryside but would also put strain on small country roads as heavy lorries go to and from the site, said the former Harrods owner.

The chairman of Fulham Football Club - who has lived near the proposed site for 40 years - claimed the council failed to consult local residents properly about the plans.

He said that if the council is successful he will take it to court.

"I will take them to hell," he said.

"I can't understand how people can be in charge if they create devastation, pollution everywhere and dangers for the community. It is not acceptable.

"I am not going to let them get away with that."

Mr al Fayed, who today attended the Oxted Sandpit Mineral Plans hearing at council offices in Kingston upon Thames, said: "I'm here today with so many of my neighbours to fight a battle that must be won against Surrey County Council and its plan to destroy large parts of the English countryside by allowing excessive and unnecessary quarrying."

Mr al Fayed said another quarry nearby is already putting strain on the narrow country routes.

He said he feared for schoolchildren, cyclists and horseriders taking to the roads with 32-tonne HGVs "thundering" by.

"Hundreds of children and young mothers are forced to live with these lorries and, if they dare to walk anywhere, they take their lives in their hands," he said.

"It is only a matter of time before there is a terrible accident."

He continued: "So I am standing up with the community and the villagers of Surrey to say 'No'.

"We have had enough and we will not have our lives and environment blighted like this."

Dozens of Oxted residents attended the meeting with a planning inspector who was assessing the Surrey Mineral Plan.

The proposal has outlined 19 new or extended possible mineral extraction sites around the county.

Mr al Fayed hired QC David Holgate to express his concerns at the meeting.

The inspector is expected to make her judgment about whether the sites are plausible at the end of March.

If she decides the Oxted site could be used for sand extraction, then prospective mineral companies would still need to apply for planning permission in the usual way, a spokesman for the council said.

He said the Oxted sandpit holds enough sand for approximately two years' extraction before it would close and be revived.

Surrey County Council cabinet member for environment Lynne Hack said the main HGV route to the proposed sandpit will only pass by one house.

She said of the Oxted proposal: "It is a sandpit that has been mostly worked, it has about 200,000 tonnes left which would be about a year or two year's worth of extraction and then the site would be restored.

"At the moment it is an open sandpit and just taking this last little bit out will enable it to be restored to countryside.

"Obviously we need minerals for our schools, hospitals, roads etc and it's better that they come from Surrey rather they are imported and you have more lorry movements.

"I really wouldn't like us to dig up greenbelt but unfortunately most of the minerals are in some form of greenbelt land.

"We've tried to protect areas of scientific interest and areas of outstanding natural beauty but unfortunately 70% of Surrey is greenbelt and that is where those minerals are."

Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Louis van Gaal would have been impressed with Darren Fletcher’s performance against LA Galaxy during Manchester United’s 7-0 victory
The new dawn heralded by George Osborne has yet to rise
voicesJames Moore: As the Tories rub their hands together, the average voter will be asking why they're not getting a piece of the action
Dejan Lovren celebrates scoring for Southampton although the goal was later credited to Adam Lallana
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
Rhys Williams
commonwealth games
Isis fighters travel in a vehicle as they take part in a military parade along the streets of Syria's northern Raqqa province
Arts and Entertainment
Southern charm: Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan in ‘Joe’
filmReview: Actor delivers astonishing performance in low budget drama
Life and Style
fashionLatex dresses hit the catwalk to raise awareness for HIV and Aids
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Senior Risk Manager - Banking - London - £650

£600 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Conduct Risk Liaison Manager - Banking - London -...

Commercial Litigation Associate

Highly Attractive Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - COMMERCIAL LITIGATION - GLOBAL...

Systems Manager - Dynamics AX

£65000 - £75000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: The client is a...

Service Delivery Manager (Software Development, Testing)

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A well-established software house ba...

Day In a Page

Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform