Wednesday, 20 May 2015

AI's planning application - preview of non-technical summary report

Aggregate Industries’ planning applications are still not ‘live’, but the non-technical summary accompanying the Environmental Statement is embedded below, split into parts for convenience.

The application is to extract 1.66 million tonnes, including workable overburden, over a period of 5 years - 40% more than the 1.2 million tonnes AI's glossy brochure and public exhibition wanted people to believe. Up to 200 HGV movements a day would be created, trucking material along the B3180 to Blackhill.

We have put the Summary of Effects and Mitigation Measures part of the report first - local people will find many of its conclusions laughable, with the phrases No adverse effect, Negligible effect, Minor adverse effect (not significant), Slight adverse effect, littering its pages.

AI's consultants SLR consider that up to 200 extra HGV movements through West Hill "would have no significant impact on the operation and safety of the local road network, and the amenity of local residents"68. It considers that up to 200 HGV movements a day through Woodbury Common SSSI, SAC, SPA would be "negligible and the impact of the quarry development on sensitive habitats would not be significant"78; this despite the Heaths already suffering the effects of traffic pollutionSome of the statements seem so divorced from reality, you wonder about the integrity of any of it.

AI would have us believe that it can't process at Rockbeare any more "due to lack of space especially for stockpiles and silt storage; and non-availability of process water"36. Yet as recently as January, AI's Scoping Report said: "Sand and gravel which may then be potentially worked from the “wet working option” would be processed at Rockbeare". In fact, AI staff have assured us for years that they could process material at Rockbeare, 'the old block works is just sitting there waiting'.

To cap it all, AI/SLR think they can get away with saying that we should expect this sort of development:
Quarries have been worked within 2km of the Application Site and in East Devon setting a precedent for this type of development. The proposed development is appropriate given the long history of extractive industry in the area demonstrated by historic quarries recorded on the heritage record.83