Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Quarrying in East Devon >>> Ottery Town Council rejects Aggregate Industries' planning application

The plans for a quarry near Ottery St Mary are out to public consultation:
Futures Forum: Quarrying in East Devon: Aggregate Industries' planning application for Straitgate Farm site: imminent
Futures Forum: Quarrying in East Devon >>> Aggregate Industries' planning application for Straitgate Farm site >>> consultation to 2nd July

The developer, Aggregate Industries, is part of a larger conglomerate:
Futures Forum: Holcim/Aggregate Industries: the costs and benefits

Last night, Ottery St Mary Town Council met to consider the proposals - the first item on the Agenda:

1)    DCC/3774/2015                             Aggregate                      Quarry development for the                        
Industries Ltd                   extraction of sand and gravel at Straitgate Farm extending to 40.23 ha including new site access onto Birdcage Lane at northern end of site, together with staff welfare facilities, car parking and wheelwash
Straitgate Farm, Exeter Road, Ottery St Mary.

Council Meetings - Ottery St Mary TC

The Town Council unanimously rejected the application:

Ottery Town Council strongly opposes quarry at Straitgate Farm

Monday, 29 June 2015 2 Comments by Claire
Ottery town councillors were in rare agreement this evening as they unanimously opposed an application for a 100 acre quarry at Straitgate Farm, near Ottery.
Around 60 members of the public were present, and about 10 of them spoke in opposition, including Margaret Hall from West Hill Residents Association and Alan Burrows, who farms cattle at Straitgate Farm.
Mr Burrows said he had farmed at Straitgate all his life and he was very concerned at the proposed loss of agricultural land, which East Devon had had a “bellyful” of recently.
Local campaigner, Monica Mortimer also spoke against the quarry, with a particular emphasis on tourism.
Many people referred to the potential 200 lorry journeys every day along the B3180, a road that is inadequate for the large number of lorry journeys already being undertaken as a result of quarrying at Venn Ottery.
I pointed out that the proposal was contrary to the adopted minerals plan and the plan to extend the life of Blackhill quarry for processing was contrary to local and national policy.
Cllr Roger Giles gave a strong speech outlining all the issues, including the declining need for quarrying due to the landfill and aggregates taxes which mean that far more aggregates are recycled. All the councillors supported his position. Strong words were used such as “horrific and “horrendous.”
Councillors unanimously opposed the plans.
The draft new minerals plan goes before the Devon County Council development management committee on Wednesday 15 July at 2pm, where it will be debated for consultation. Straitgate Farm is a proposed preferred site for quarrying in the emerging plan.
The meeting will be held at county hall.  Although members of the public are not permitted to speak, I will be representing my ward and I would urge a large turn out to give councillors a clear message.
1. At 09:45 pm on 29th Jun Roger Giles wrote:
Understandably there is much concern about, and opposition to, the AI planning application for Straitgate from Ottery and West Hill people. But there is also opposition from a much wider area over issues such as traffic, and great concern about large numbers of bulky lorries travelling along roads that are totally unsuitable.
At the OSMTC meeting on 29 June several residents of Willow View expressed their concern about 200 lorries a day passing very close to their homes if the application were to be approved.
Willow View residents are located in the Whimple Parish. One hopes that Whimple Parish Council will take up the concerns of its residents, and object to the planning application.
If Straitgate should be approved (which it most certainly should not, as there are many valid planning reasons to refuse it) the material produced would be processed at Blackhill. This would mean that the existing lorry menace which affects many communities such as Aylesbeare, Tipton, and Woodbury, and is due to end by 31 December 2016, would be continued for a further five years or even longer.
2. At 07:56 am on 30th Jun Philip Algar wrote:
I was delighted at the stance of both the public and the town council at last night’s well-attended meeting in West Hill. All the key points were made by informed speakers but one that, I believe, needs emphasising is the issue of employment. I have seen reports that maintain that AI say that not a single new job will be created. As employment is so important, this is of more than a little interest. Furthermore, as tourism is so significant, it is a real possibility that fewer tourists would mean fewer jobs. Given all the other environmental, economic and safety aspects can anyone tell me of any advantage to the local community?  We have just seen a decision taken by a county council on fracking partly because of “adverse urbanising effect on the landscape”. This decision was taken despite the advice of the planning committee to approve the project. Let us hope that the combined efforts of local people and the town council defeat this unnecessary project which, if approved would not have a single advantage to the community.
Ottery Town Council strongly opposes quarry at Straitgate Farm - Claire Wright.

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