Tuesday, 29 March 2016

In the news

Earlier this month, we wrote that if AI now wants to use the main road in to and out of Ottery it should at least tell local people. The Herald reports that AI "will not be holding any further public exhibitions – choosing instead to distribute information leaflets to householders"; for its last applications it did both.

AI says the reason it now wants to use the Exeter Road B3174 for its site access, for up to 200 44-tonne articulated HGVs a day - one every 3 minutes:
...is to address concerns raised about the transport of materials. Instead of using the more rural Birdcage Lane to exit the Straitgate site, we will be proposing an alternative site entrance. We feel this will provide a safer way for vehicles to enter and exit the site and it shows that we are acting on feedback from the community.
This is, of course, utter nonsense.

Firstly, it is completely the reverse of what AI said last year:
The southern option, onto the B3174, was dismissed early in the process on highway safety grounds. It would have been too close to existing accesses, including the access to Straitgate Farmhouse, and the vertical alignment of the highway at this point would compromise visibility. It was decided therefore to create a new access at the northern end of the site... 5.44
Secondly, the simple and widely known fact of the matter was that AI didn’t have the rights to use 3rd party land for its site access at the northern end of the site. Only when AI realised there was no possibility of obtaining access rights to this land did it finally withdraw the application; it had nothing to do with "acting on feedback from the community".

The Exmouth Journal quotes AI as saying "following our positive discussions with residents... to address concerns raised about the transport of materials", which is again some stretch given that it was Hugo Swire MP that represented the angry residents in question.

Is there anything that AI won't spin?