Wednesday, 8 July 2015

1968 revisited

A reminder of some of the statements that came out of the public inquiry in 1968, following the first application to quarry Straitgate Farm, which are as pertinent today as they were then:
The county surveyor raises no objection to the proposals in principle, but on planning grounds the scenic B3180 is envisaged as being unsuitable for industrial traffic… 232
The existing Blackhill quarry workings are a disfigurement, making a prominent scar when seen from vantage points across the open land... 259 The National Parks Commission
The quarry represents an ugly feature in the panoramic view from the most popular part of the commons area, at Woodbury Castle… 283 Exmouth Urban District Council
Once it is admitted that the damage caused by the proposed development is likely to be substantial, permission should only be granted if the need cannot be met elsewhere, where less damage would be caused… 351 Devon River Authority
The Minister is anxious to safeguard such valuable agricultural land so far as possible and I am directed to advise that in his opinion there is the strongest possible objection to the proposed development on agricultural grounds. 359 Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries & Food

A MAFF representative said "The quality of the land is such that in a rapidly expanding urban society its retention is more than ever necessary to maintain production from a fast contracting acreage", and that the application affecting this farm gave every indication of being only the "thin edge of the wedge". Express & Echo, 18 July 1968.