Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Other consultation responses

We have commented on the consultation responses from the Environment Agency, Highways England and Natural England. Here are a few snippets from some of the other responses:

The proposal has been examined from an Aerodrome Safeguarding aspect and does not appear to conflict with safeguarding criteria providing that the following conditions are imposed and adhered to.
2. There are no new trees planted on ground higher than the 135m AOD contour as over time these will grow and cause a potential penetration of the Obstacle limitation surface.

4. Any new Sustainable Urban Drainage Scheme(SUDS) will be required to follow the guidance in the attached Airport Operators Association Advice note 6 entitled Potential Bird Hazards from SUDS.
[AI planted 4,000m2 of tress in 2014 above 135m AOD. AI proposes that 23% of the excavated site be set aside for infiltration ponds during the excavations, potentially up to 6.2 ha, with restoration to "seasonally wet grassland". The CAA says "a wet meadow would attract feeding ducks and nesting waders, and should be avoided" and "Ponds or wetlands are the SUDS options most likely to attract objections if proposed within the 13km aerodrome safeguarding circle."]

The CHA is currently examining its highway records for the five year period proceeding the Venn Ottery extraction, on the road between Venn Ottery Quarry and Blackhill Quarry, and the period since extraction started to see if there is a correlation between damage to the highway and the traffic related to extraction. It will make these findings public when completed. If the CHA can find evidence of specific damage to the highway as a result of the existing quarrying activities, then it is likely that it would require further mitigating measures to prevent this sort of damage in the future.
The County Highway Authority believes [the] application is lacking in detailed information and requests that the matters above are fully explored prior to any determination of the application...
[The 'matters above' include how HGVs would interact with a County Cycle Route, a request for more comprehensive safety data, mitigation proposals for HGVs interacting with peak holiday traffic, and further explanation of the percentage increase in HGV movements along the B3180 "preferably in plain English".]

The outline surface water strategy within the FRA is broadly acceptable although no detail is provided on the detailed surface water strategy for the site. This strategy should identify location of the infiltration features and how these fit into the site and the proposed phasing of the site. This should include detailed design regarding their size, details whether infiltration is permitted at the proposed locations and where targeted at areas where infiltration is required to support the spring lines of the existing watercourses (as commented by the Environment Agency), together with details of exceedance pathways. Due to the nature of the flood risk downstream, betterment should be achieved...
As you will know we commented on the application for Venn Ottery quarry back in 2010 and expressed concerns about the perpetuation of quarry processing at this site beyond the life of the on-site workings to 2016. By doing so we expressed the view that this would serve to maintain the visual and audible impact of the workings and associated activity on the AONB and the surrounding special environment and postpone the site restoration. This application appears to be continuing this process and realising our concerns further.
Given the agricultural use of Straitgate Farm and the nature of the soils and subsoils, it is likely to have a history of substantial fertiliser application, from which some of the nutrients are likely to have been retained. This is likely to render those substrates inappropriate capping material for any land being restored to a nature conservation afteruse, and we recommend that it is explicitly exempted from such a use.