Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Negative impact on flight safety only "minor"?

In these austere times for public spending we were surprised to see yet another report just released by DCC: "Sustainability Appraisal of Site Identification" - 574 pages prepared this time by the Sustainability Appraisal Team to inform consultation with statutory consultees. Coverage of Straitgate (S7) starts on p.124 and in Annexe 18 on p.494. On p.497 with reference to Airport Safeguarding at Exeter Airport: "This is considered to have the potential to negatively impact upon the flight safety associated with Exeter Airport. In this case a minor negative effect is predicted." We are not sure that the CAA or Exeter Airport would agree that a negative impact on flight safety is ever "minor", but DCC have reached this conclusion by recommending "Mitigation: Use policy to prevent problems with bird strike for mineral sites near airports". In conjunction with the Environment Agency's objection, we suggest DCC read CAA Advice Note 3 again which stipulates that "where water features are absolutely necessary" a number of measures must be adopted one of which is "water should be as at least 4m deep", and ask Aggregate Industries how that could be feasible.