This is in effect, an official declaration of the company’s intention to lodge a planning application to quarry Straitgate.
They have revealed that, at this stage, they are only able to dig out sand and gravel above the water table, which will only give them 1.2 million tonnes, which will only last four to five years.
As this quantity is so diminished from their original plans, Aggregate Industries now intends to lodge a second application to extend permission for processing at Blackhill – despite all the environmental and sustainability constraints.
It would appear that quarrying Straitgate may not be viable if they had to build new processing plant elsewhere.
Any quarrying at Straitgate could compromise ancient wildwood at Cadhay Bog – a nearby woodland which relies on an underground watercourse to feed its large range of rare plants and habitat. Both the Environment Agency and Natural England have objected to these plans previously because of the damage that disturbing the aquifer would cause.
Full details can be found at http://straitgateactiongroup.blogspot.co.uk/, along with the proposed transport route.
Anyone can comment on the scoping request. The full report and details of how to comment can be found on the link above.
Photograph: Line of veteran oaks that are at risk as a result of Aggregate Industries plans to quarry at Straitgate.