STRAITGATE Farm has been proposed as a possible site for mining aggregates as part of the Devon Minerals Plan.
The proposal comes just months after Ottery Town Council’s Planning Committee opposed plans from Aggregate Industries to turn the site into a quarry and planning chiefs at East Devon District Council had objected to the proposal as well.
A consultation period, about this suggestion, has now been set up and will run until November 16th, following this the document will be submitted to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Elizabeth Truss MP, in early 2016, together with all responses.
The minister will then appoint an inspector to hold an inquiry into the plans. It is anticipated that the Minerals Plan will be adopted by the end of 2016, replacing the existing Mineral Local Plan 2004, and will cover the period until 2033.
The Devon Minerals Plan will try to strike a balance between maintaining the supply of the wide range of mineral resources needed while minimising the environmental effects.
And although some resources reserves are expected to last beyond 18 years, Devon County Council believes its necessary for the plan to propose new areas to ensure supply.
Along with the consultation period set up, Devon County Council have released a list of responses to the concerns brought up in the past over the possible usage of Straitgate for the purpose of mining gravel and sand.
The public complained that extra lorries travelling to and from the processing plant would have a large negative impact on traffic and road safety.
DCC’s response stated that the limited size of Straitgate means that it wouldn’t be feasible as a processing plant but to help ease traffic concerns an acceptable access point would be established, on the northern side of the site, closer to the A30 so that the lorries wouldn’t join the B3174.
Another concern raised in the comments about the site was adverse consequences on the local economy, with shops and property prices being the worst hit.
Devon County Council said the minerals plan would contain policies that would minimise the impact on residents near the site but didn’t say what these policies would be.
When Aggregate Industries had proposed use of the site as a quarry and to extend the life of nearby Blackhill Quarry until 2021, Ottery locals and members of the council had described the suggestion as “absolutely appalling”.
Councillor Jerry Brook, Chairman of Devon County Council’s Development Management Committee said: “This latest consultation is another opportunity for people across the county to have their say and help inform development of the emerging Devon Minerals Plan.
“The plan has to balance the supply of the county’s natural mineral resources, while minimising the impact on Devon’s environment and local residents.
“We feel we have struck the right balance, but we look forward to hearing people’s views.”
The consultation will run until November 16th is available online at https://new.devon.gov.uk/haveyoursay it will also be available at council offices in the area.