• A giant quarry on the edge of West Hill - views required

    11th March 2012 | News | Claire
  • Aggregate Industries wants to excavate the huge quarry at Straitgate Farm, just off the Exeter Road and opposite the junction to Toadpit Lane.

    The 150 acre quarry would be next to the Straitgate Farm listed building and would be boundaried by the A30 and Exeter Road (going into Ottery St Mary).

    The consultation is the second one in a year for the site, following an examination of around a dozen quarrying areas in the Ottery area.  All were dismissed for one reason or another, except Straitgate.

    A year ago Devon County Council (DCC) consulted on whether there should be sand and gravel extraction in this area. Unfortunately DCC concluded that there should be continued sand and gravel quarrying at Hillhead, near Uffculme AND also quarrying in this part of Devon.  DCC thinks that Straitgate Farm is the most suitable location.

    Quite why DCC has concluded that it is necessary to open a new sand and gravel quarry on a greenfield site in attractive countryside, when the needs of Devon for many decades could be met from an extended Hillhead Quarry, is incomprehensible.

    DCC admits that there are `significant constraints` to quarrying at Straitgate such as `the underlying water table and consequent impacts on private water supplies and nearby wildlife sites.  It is surely unacceptable to consider quarrying at a site which has been described as having `considerable constraints`.

    There would be noise and dust problems   Aggregate Industries have said that the material from the site would be taken to the B3180 road (Exmouth Road) along which it would be taken to Blackhill Quarry on Woodbury Common. 

    There would be more than a hundred very large lorry movements every day for many years to come.  That’s one every five minutes.

    There would be very little local economic benefit from the quarry – AI have admitted that a Straitgate quarry would not create a single extra job.

    At some time in the not too far distant future Aggregate Industries will submit a planning application for Straitgate Farm.  If opposition to the quarry is left to the time the planning application is considered, it will be too late. 

    Quarries have a very long lead time and it would be almost impossible to stop this unnecessary and incredibly damaging proposal at a late stage.

    If you are concerned at all please attend as many of the consultation events as you can.  Make an official response to DCC at County Hall.  Details of how you can make an electronic submission are likely to be posted on the DCC website shortly.  It would be helpful if you send a copy of your submission to Ottery St Mary Town Council at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

    Would you be prepared to join a campaign group? 

    Contact me or County Councillor, Roger Giles (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)), if you would like to get involved in opposing the quarry.

    The events to diary are:

      Tuesday 27 March, 4.30pm to 7pm at West Hill Village Hall – a drop-in session, so you don`t need to be there the whole time

      Monday 2 April, 7pm – DCC presentation at the Ottery St Mary Town Council monthly meeting

      Thursday 26 April, 10am, County Hall, Exeter – meeting of DCC Development Management Committee to consider the consultation response