I argued for Straitgate to be struck from the minerals plan, on the basis that it was NOT deliverable. 

Planning officers have already stated that they do not approve of extending Aggregate Industries processing operation at Blackhill, Woodbury Common, on the basis that it contravenes a raft of national and international designations, such as the EU habitats regulations, which protect rare flora and fauna such as the southern damselfly, nightjar and dartford warbler.

Aggregate Industries have said for years that other sites around are not suitable for processing and they have already formally applied for planning consent to extend the life of the processing plant at Blackhill.

I don’t see how Straitgate Farm area (100 acres to be quarried) can possibly be included in the minerals plan as a standalone site, while there is a stalemate between DCC planning officers and the quarrying company about where processing should take place. Quarrying sand and gravel must be processed and these two things must go hand in hand.

Ripping out 100 acres of high quality agricultural land, damaging the economic capability of a working dairy farm and putting at risk a major aquifer is surely not worth extracting just 1.2m tonnes of sand and gravel. This is so small compared with other quarrying operations.

So, the consultation will begin in August and end in October….  It is really important that you write in, if you are concerned.

Round two at the planning committee in the autumn, after the consultation responses are in and assessed.

Watch mine and Cllr Channon’s presentations, the subsequent debate and our summing up, here – http://www.devoncc.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcast_interactive/153186