Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Activity at Hillhead again

DCC has finally received a planning application for Aggregate Industries' bagging plant at the block works near Uffculme - "a direct replacement for the Company’s former aggregate bagging plant, located at Bishops Court Quarry in Exeter". AI had been running a bagged aggregates distribution operation out of the mothballed Hillhead Quarry without permission. Even after DCC had served AI notice to clear the site, there were local reports that AI continued to deliver bagged aggregates to Hillhead. DCC said:
We are keeping the situation under review and the company has been served notice requiring them to provide us with information on land ownership should the need to take formal action arise.
Hillhead was not cleared by the deadline imposed by DCC, but AI has evidently secured an extension. Is AI's haphazard modus operandi any way for a multinational business to be conducting its affairs, any way to be integrating itself into the community it disrupts?

An AI spokesman claimed that if the bagging plant went ahead around 12 jobs would be created:
Owing to changes in our leases, we have decided to expand operations out of Hillhead Quarry. It's good news and will bring jobs to the area - although until the business is fully permitted we won't be quite sure on numbers…
How a plant that's a "direct replacement" can create 12 jobs, only AI can answer. According to AI's planning statement "4.1 There are 12 full time employees associated with the existing concrete products factory. 4.2 The proposed aggregate bagging plant would employ 12 people...". Good to see AI's PR machine hard at work.

AI's application can be found here. DCC will accept comments until 24 May.