• Campaigner calls on secretary of state to act over quarry

    11th July 2012 | News | Claire
  • Dear Secretary of State,

    We all realise that many parts of the UK have been subjected to exceptional rainfall, yet, of course, some areas, notwithstanding the rain, have suffered less than others. As you know from your visit to flood-prone Ottery St. Mary in East Devon, local residents, once again, have had to endure yet more flooding.

    The problems were less severe because of work undertaken by the Environment Agency but a project now being considered by Devon County Council, to develop a new quarry just outside OSM, could result in an increased risk of flooding. This is the view of many experts, including those in the Environment Agency. The quarry is not needed, anywhere in the county, as demand and thus production are declining, reflecting a long-term trend, and reserves are adequate for decades.

    The EA has spent heavily protecting OSM but, if the project proceeds, the town could be subjected to yet more flooding. What an irony, that having worked hard to protect Ottery, a new and unnecessary development could undermine much of what has been done. On this occasion, the excess water flooding OSM came from the eastern side. If the quarry project is approved, the town would be subjected to excess water originating from the western side as well.  Clearly, this pernicious combination of water from two separate sources would be calamitous for residents and businesses alike. 

    The considerable opposition to this project contends that extra traffic on the inadequate and already dangerous B3180, a road that will see 100 more truck movements a day, yielding one tonne of carbon dioxide every 24 hours, will cause more accidents. Additionally, the local environment will be damaged and, not least, OSM will be at even greater risk of flooding.

    I urge you, please, to do all you can to ensure that the excellent work already undertaken by the Environment Agency is not undone by approval of this unwanted and unnecessary quarry.

    Thank you, Philip Algar

    Photograph: Straitgate Farm highlighted, viewed from East Hill.