The other is whether there is need for a new site.  The introduction some years ago of the Aggregates Tax and the Landfill Tax has resulted in more sustainable waste practices. Less material is landfilled; there is less waste of finite natural resources.

For some years DCC, when resurfacing roads and pavements, has used the “planings”  to repair bridleways and unclassified county roads (UCRs).  Previously this material went to landfill.  Now it is used instead of primary aggregates.  It suppresses demand for primary aggregates, and reduces the need for new quarries. 

Another example. If you have visited the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital or travelled along Barrack Road in Exeter recently you will have noticed a large building site.  This has been the demolition of the Postgraduate Education Centre.  To quote from the Spring 2012 newsletter of the RD&E NHS Foundation Trust newsletter “over 90% of the dismantled structure will be recycled – the majority being used for road building aggregate.” So we will never return to the levels of need/production of sand and gravel seen previously, even when the economy picks up.

Look at the Devon production figures for sand and gravel:

Year   million tonnes

1990   1.70

1991   1.60

1992   1.40

1993   1.10

1994   1.80

1995   1.70

1996   1.12

1997   0.90

1998   0.93

1999   0.80

2000   0.80

2001   1.15

2002   0.94

2003   0.93

2004   0.79

2005   0.77

2006   0.79

2007   0.70

2008   0.66

2009   0.48

2010   0.45

We don`t yet have the 2011 figures (I am pressing DCC to obtain the figures from the industry companies) but it is a distinct possibility that the 2011 sand and gravel production in Devon will be even lower than 2010`s 0.45 million tonnes.  A more detailed analysis of the figures, and the declining ten year average, is available at http://www.straitgateactiongroup.blogspot.co.uk Click on “details”.

There is a very long term trend of declining production of sand and gravel because of the introduction of the Aggregates Tax and the Landfill Tax (which increases each year, and is to continue rising each year); because of increasing use of secondary and recycled aggregates; and because of changing building methods.  All expertly addressed by Cllr Bob Evans of MDDC at the 26 April meeting of the DCC Development Management Committee. 

There is a resource of sand and gravel at Hillhead to last 50 years at the present rate of use.

Where is the case for a new quarry at Straitgate?