Monday, 24 September 2012

What 'Earth Scar' would be OSM's legacy?

After the ground has given up its mineral, the agriculture gone, Aggregate Industries' profit made, what then for Ottery St Mary and its surrounds?

Aggregate Industries is proud to supply Windsor Castle with 80-100 tonnes of crushed Blackhill gravel each year, but is it as proud of the 'Earth Scars' it leaves behind for local people?

If Aggregate Industries was ever allowed to quarry Straitgate Farm, the 'Earth Scar' would not be as deep as in the pictures above. If the company was restricted in the same way as at Thorn Tree Plantation at Blackhill, it would only be permitted to quarry down to one metre above the maximum water table.

But over time the 'Earth Scar' could grow to be almost as extensive, due to the extent of the deposit - with the sites S1-S10 at risk of befalling the same fate. Aggregate Industries already has most of the mineral rights, and could make OSM its home for generations.

And what imaginative ideas would Aggregate Industries or DCC have in mind for all those holes created so conveniently close to the Exeter populace? Housing, inert landfill, industrial units, composting? Any natural restoration scheme that increased the potential for bird habitats in Exeter Airport's flight path would of course not be permitted.