Wednesday, 28 October 2015


After the VW emissions scandal, is it any wonder? Aggregate Industries' planning applications for Straitgate and Blackhill, were littered with spin, inaccuracy and falsehood. Even for its current operation at Venn Ottery, AI said there would be an average of 138 trucks a day for a 4 day week - yet on the random day we checked, there were 194.

So it’s likely that AI has also misled people about the pollution it has pumped out; "HGVs make up approximately 5% of traffic flow and yet contribute more than 38% of the total NO2 emissions".

Lorry-makers have made no progress on fuel economy in 20 years.
3. Exceptional circumstances not proven in support of housing scheme
In ruling against an appellant planning to build up to 50 dwellings in the Cornwall AONB, an inspector decided that exceptional circumstances required under paragraph 116 of the NPPF had not been demonstrated.... The harm to the scenic qualities of the AONB was sufficient to reject the scheme.
The tragedy of this situation is that the UK aggregate companies have insisted on investing, with approval by the government, in marine dredging when actually the technology exists to wholly source sand from recycled quarry waste. This is not pie in the sky hyperbole. It is fact. Japan now sources the overwhelming majority of its sand to make concrete from quarry waste, and has been a pioneer in developing this new technology. Australia is on the brink of following suit.
A Christchurch quarry is being accused of using delaying tactics to avoid cleaning up its operation and of placing the town water supply at risk of contamination.
It's a story from the other side of the world, but something to bear in mind for those reliant on Straitgate for their drinking water, when AI talks about S106s and emergency tanker supplies.

Some of England’s most beautiful landscapes are threatened by inappropriate development because planning rules are not being followed properly, the National Trust has claimed.

Another article on bats that again puts Straitgate’s wildlife in context:
Of the 18 species of bat found in the UK, 10 can be found at Penrose. In the 20th century UK bat populations have declined by an estimated 70% and Greater Horseshoes have declined by 90%. They are under threat from unsympathetic building developments, loss of habitat and changing farming practices.
At Straitgate, "at least eleven bat species were recorded flying over the site" 8.114.

The High Court judge ruled that Aylesbury Vale District Council had failed properly to take into account the possible presence of great crested newts on the site when granting permission for the project. The CCJC submitted a revised application, along with additional information showing that Natural England would grant the required licence if the scheme was approved.
No cement business has ever admitted the scale of the problem. They tout their biodiversity pages in their websites and sustainability reports with pictures of ducks and frogs and children enjoying the wetlands created from the hills they remove. They give and receive prizes for their restoration work – but do not acknowledge what is being lost.