The controversial application to build a new quarry has entered the next stage:
Futures Forum: Quarrying in East Devon: Aggregate Industries' planning application for Straitgate Farm site: imminent
This is the comment from independent County Councillor Claire Wright:
Planning application for 100 acre quarry, near Ottery goes live
Friday, 05 June 2015 0 Comments by Claire
The planning application for a 100 acre quarry at Straitgate Farm, near Ottery St Mary, has now gone live on Devon County Council’s website.
A separate application has been submitted for processing the sand and gravel at Blackhill Quarry on Woodbury Common, which would result in 140 lorry movements each day along the B3180.
Residents now have around three weeks to comment on the application, by Aggregate Industries.
Also, the draft minerals plan (long term strategic quarrying document), in which Straitgate Farm is a preferred site, will be considered by Devon County Council’s development management committee on Tuesday 15 July, before being consulted on for three months. It is vital that as many people attend this meeting as possible. It starts at 2pm.
For more information about the proposed quarry visit Straitgate Action Group
Here’s the link to the documentation - Planning Applications - Devon County Council
Send your comments to email@example.com
Planning application for 100 acre quarry, near Ottery goes live - Claire Wright
The front page of today's Express & Echo carried the story:
Ice Age woodland threatened by plan to quarry sand from farmland in East Devon
By Exeter Express and Echo | Posted: June 09, 2015
Residents of West Hill, Broadclyst, Whimple and Ottery St Mary have less than a month to make their thoughts known to Devon County Council over plans to develop a quarry on farmland by the A30. And there are wider concerns the quarry could affect the water table and damage an ice-age bog and farmland near to the site.
The application has been made by Aggregate Industries to extract sand and gravel from land by Straitgate Farm with access to the site along Birdcage Lane. The site is 40.23 ha in size encompassing several fields and hedgerows and will include should the application be successful offices, car parking and a wheelwash for the lorries.
Some local residents are not happy about the plans and have formed an action group to fight the firm’s application to develop the site. On their website Strait Gate Action Group say: “Finally, people have a chance to respond to AI's (Aggregate Industries’) proposals and to tell Devon County Council about the concerns they have: whether it’s the five years of HGVs and related safety and pollution impacts along the B3180, the risk to drinking water supplies and flooding, the loss of ancient hedgerows and risk to protected dormice, the visual impact, the risk to ancient woodland habitats, or the continued effects on the East Devon Pebblebed Heaths.”
The action group say that one of the main issues is the amount of heavy traffic the project will attract. They said the company plans to use the Daisymount junction with 44-tonne vehicles. They have been supported by the district councillor for West Hill Claire Wright.
Cllr Wright said: “There are two issues. One is the draft mineral plan which is that Devon County County must show this part of the county can provide enough sand and gravel. Straitgate Farm is a preferred site and we need to convince them it shouldn’t be on the plan and the other issue is environmental and concerns the planning application itself.”
She draft mineral plan goes before County on July 15, where it will be asked to approve a three month consultation for Straitgate.
One of the big concerns over the site is an underground water course which feeds ancient woodlands including Cadhay Bog which is classed as “wild wood” and has remained unchanged she says since the Ice Age. Natural England are also very concerned she added.
“They spent ages and ages trying to overcome this, “said Cllr Wright, “by talking about pumps which sounded unconvincing. Now they say they won’t quarry so deep.”
She said they were spending a huge amount of money to extract a small amount of sand and gravel and was concerned that at a later stage they would apply to quarry wider and deeper at a later date.
Aggregate Industries said the proposed extraction of sand and gravel includes the processing plant at Blackhill Quarry, near Woodbury because it would not be possible to process the material at Straitgate. They said: “The intention would be for the sand and gravel to be worked and the site restored to agricultural use over a period of about five years.”
John Penny of the firm said: “The applications were the culmination of three years of careful planning and consideration and would represent a significant commitment on behalf of the company in its investment within Devon. The development proposals have been subject to an Environmental Impact Assessment which has examined in detail the potential impacts on residential amenity, wildlife, landscape, transport, archaeology and the water environment."
He said that “no stone has been left unturned” and they would consider “the comments made by members of the public”Mr Penny also said the sand and gravel operation would “make a valuable contribution to Devon in being able to meet the needs of the County and avoid having to import minerals from other counties.”
The period of consultation continues to July 2, 2015, with a decision expected in September.
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Ice Age woodland threatened by plan to quarry sand from farmland in East Devon | Exeter Express and Echo