PLANS to extend a quarry near Romsey have raised fears over noisy machines - with a local authority warning it is "very concerning" for some residents, a new report has found.

The application, tabled by Raymond Brown Quarry Products Ltd, seeks to extend Roke Manor Quarry in Salisbury Road, Shootash.

If given the green light, around 600,000 tonnes of sand and gravel will be extracted from the Stanbridge Ranvilles Extension, according to a document submitted to Hampshire County Council (HCC).

Work on the site would start at 7am and finish at 6pm from Monday to Friday, while on Saturday it would begin at 8am and conclude at 12.30pm.

A Test Valley Borough Council (TVBC) document has revealed the predicted level of noise "would be up to 18 dB above the existing background sound level", according to TVBC's environmental health manager, Mark Lee.

He warned this indicates a "very substantial impact and is very concerning", adding the noise will at times be "well above the guideline limit of up to 10 dB above background".

Mr Lee stressed the properties which may hear more than 10 dB are 2 Roke Manor Farm Cottages, Croylands and Troy House.

He believes the hardest-hit home will be Croylands, explaining "noise levels of up to 18 dB above the background are expected during soil stripping and 14 dB above background during other operations".

The health manager has now urged Raymond Brown Quarry Products to explore ways to control noise on the quarry, suggesting they could use higher bunds, before noise limits are set.

However, Mr Lee said he was satisfied with the options that could be used to control dust on the site, but added this relies on "good management on an ongoing basis".

This comes after furious residents slammed the proposals, with one man claiming three 200-year-old oak trees will be axed.

Others fear they will be forced to endure hours of noisy machines at work and some believe piles of soil will ruin the view from a popular footpath if the plans get the go-ahead.

However, a spokesperson from Raymond Brown Quarry Products Ltd insisted the extension will secure work for their employees for another five years.

They said: "The extension area contains circa 600,000 tonnes of high quality sand and gravel, which, if approved, will secure supplies of aggregates to local construction projects and the livelihoods of our employees for an additional five years.

"[...] There is a clear and pressing need for additional mineral reserves to support the wider economy in this particular part of the county and Roke Manor Quarry is ideally placed to continue to meet that local demand."

They added: "The proposed extension has been carefully designed to minimise impacts on both the environment and the local community and, upon restoration, will be returned to agriculture with enhanced wildlife habitat, exceeding national standards for Biodiversity Net Gain."

The deadline for the public to comment on the application is Friday, June 11, according to HCC.