Wednesday, 25 June 2014


Aggregate Industries has requested a meeting with DCC to discuss the future of Straitgate Farm. Four members of the Council’s planning team will meet with three representatives from AI, including its South West Area Director, next week. No consultants, geologists or hydrogeologists will be involved.

AI is likely to outline a proposal to quarry an even further reduced area of Straitgate. Consultants have so far been unable to produce a workable and robust scheme for the current proposed boundary with working below the water table, that would not negatively impact groundwater. They will, however, continue to collect groundwater data in and around the site - a process that started some 18 months ago - in the hope of devising a scheme where more of the deposit could be recovered.

With less material immediately available, AI will no doubt push yet again for an extension at Blackhill Quarry more than 7 miles away to process the as-dug material - beyond the time when permission expires at the end of 2016. No quarrying is undertaken at Blackhill any more; since 2009 it has functioned as a sand and gravel processing works - blighting Woodbury Common, AONB, SAC, SPA.

In the meantime, the results of the Straitgate archaeological geophysical survey have been assessed. It has been recommended that a number of trenches are dug across the site. The exact number will be dependent on the area AI proposes to quarry.