A 170 year old Mabe quarry which is the last of its kind and has supplied stone to the Palace of Westminster could face closure if developers build houses nearby,

That's the opinion of Tim Marsh, who has operated a traditional stonemasons business at Trenoweth Quarry for the past 40 years, and is seeking support against plans for 56 new houses on fields at Antron Way.

The quarry, which opened around 1840, is one of only two places in Cornwall still extracting dimension stone: natural rock selected and worked to obtain blocks or slabs of a specific size and and shape. It is also the only such quarry in Cornwall to still use and teach traditional granite working techniques, specialising in smaller scale items including work for heritage properties.

Mr Marsh said if the new development goes ahead it will be within a 250 metre exclusion zone around the quarry, which will eventually lead to him having to close as the sounds of drilling and blasting would be too loud, and properties within the zone could also prevent future sources of granite being extracted.

He said: "That's a 250 yard zone to stop the sterilisation of this sort of quarry. The government decided to keep these natural resources for later use, so in 100 years time if you want a piece of granite you can. You haven't built houses on it.

"They are drilling too near to us, so we can't be drilling or blasting.

"If this planning permission goes through it will stop us... we will have to stop. They will close me down."

He added: "They have built near me already and put conditions on me. The idea is this exclusion zone will stop people."

Mr Marsh also said he didn't believe the village needed more houses, and the council had recently turned down an application to build around 60 homes further down the hill, and added: "The other thing, if they get this, there's another application down the line for 40 houses, only 20 metres away. that's the end of us.

"We can't relocate, we can't move the quarry, and why should I?

"Stone masonry is one of the oldest skills in the world, it's been around since the pyramids. It's Cornwall's heritage and it's disappearing.

"In Mabe there was 83 quarries... on Penryn quay there was 160 masons.

"The history was huge, and it's come down to one little quarry... that they can't seem to leave alone."

David Paton, one of two Mason's currently working at the quarry on a project to send a giant St Piran statue to Brittany, said the plan "represents a potential disaster for Tim's quarry, the livelihoods of the people that work at the quarry and to the centuries of skills that continue to be used at the quarry."

He added: "Tim’s quarry not only supports heritage building projects and restorations, but also new build schemes... without Tim’s quarry the future of using traditionally finished Cornish granite on new building developments will be impossible. The quarry not only provides jobs, but also supports innovative new projects."

Developers Helford Atlantic are planning to build 56 one, two and three-bedroom homes off Antron Way, including 28 affordable homes, above the minimum required by Cornwall Council.

The application can be viewed on Cornwall Council's planning portal under reference PA16/04068.