Thursday, 1 February 2018

Pressures to expand business parks in East Devon >>> Blackhill Quarry, Woodbury

Developers and landowners would like to expand their industrial estates:
Futures Forum: Pressures to expand business parks in East Devon >>> from Greendale and Hill Barton >>> to Woodbury

The former Blackhill Quarry at Woodbury is one such possibility:
Planning application for Blackhill Quarry site | Latest Exmouth News - Exmouth Journal
Business park expansion plans to create 50 new jobs - Devon Live

But the neighbouring communities are not happy, as reported by the East Devon Watch blog:


1 FEB 2018

At the time this article was prepared, more than 145 individuals and resident associations had lodged formal objections against Clinton Devon Estate’s (CDE) planning application 17/3022 to create new industrial units on the Blackhill Quarry site. The condition on granting the original quarry licence was that when extraction ceased, the site should be returned to its natural state.

This number of objections is rising hourly, in spite of a determined PR campaign by CDE in the Exmouth Journal and local Parish Magazines to spin a favourable case (It’s only a small bit of land… the site proposed is currently covered in concrete and any restoration to high quality habitat will be problematic…. mitigation proposals that might secure significantly more wildlife benefits for the surrounding heathland are being discussed. Etc.) The consultation period has been extended.

Owl recalls last May CDE launched an on line “tell us what you think” survey with the introduction:

“We look to listen carefully to our staff, customers and those in our community. How we engage with you and what you think about our approach to sustainability is important to us and we want to get it right. Your feedback to this survey will play an important part in helping us develop our future communications.”

The survey asked questions such as:

To what extent do you agree with the following?

1. Clinton Devon Estates puts responsible stewardship and sustainable development at the heart of everything they do?

2. Clinton Devon Estates understands and conserves the wildlife it manages. And

3. How credible do you think “We pledge to do today what is right for tomorrow” is as a statement from Clinton Devon Estates?


Anyone want to rethink their responses in light of the above?

Blackhill Quarry: Who’s listening to the Community? | East Devon Watch

The Straitgate Action Group also have something to say on the application:

Objections mount for CDE’s planning application for Blackhill Quarry

Aggregate Industries’ permission to process material at Blackhill Quarry on Woodbury Common came to an end in 2016, and the plant is now in the process of being taken down to be re-erected at Hillhead Quarry near Uffculme.

It was widely hoped that this area at Blackhill would be restored, but landowner Clinton Devon Estates made an outline planning application late last year for 35,000 sq ft of industrial units - referred to in the post Why does quarrying have such a bad name? Take a look at Blackhill

Objections to this application in the East Devon AONB are mounting up, and the issue has been covered in the local press:
DCC raised no objection to the proposal, but interestingly the Devon Stone Federation did:
This planning application has been drawn to my attention by the Minerals Officer of Devon County Council… Devon Stone Federation objects on the basis that the proposal would sterilise an important underlying mineral.
Sterilisation is a rather bizarre reason - given that the mineral operator is now moving away from the site and dismantling its plant, and given that modification orders to restrict further mineral extraction were served back in 1999 when the East Devon Pebblebed Heaths were designated nature conservation areas of European importance.

But hey, an objection is an objection and should be welcomed, particularly considering what had been intended for this area.

The plan agreed with DCC states that for the processing area, Area 12:
It is anticipated that an alternative use for Area 12 will be sought by the landowner, perhaps a recreational or leisure use which will benefit from the existing hardstanding, office building and workshop to alleviate pressure on the SSSI. It is acknowledged that a planning permission for an alternative use will need to be sought from the Local Planning Authority. Should planning permission not be forthcoming then the office building and workshop will be demolished and removed from site. In addition, the existing hardstanding would be dug up and recycled for potential use on estate roads. The area will then be restored in line with the site restoration principals as agreed by the Quarry Restoration Group at the time. 

Only a select few - landowners, mineral companies, county councils or the like - would have imagined that plans for "a recreational or leisure use… to alleviate pressure on the SSSI" could mean an industrial estate. Objections to planning application 17/3022/MOUT can still be made here.

Straitgate Action Group: Objections mount for CDE’s planning application for Blackhill Quarry

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