Sunday, 22 May 2016

Minerals Plan Examination this week; Straitgate to be discussed 2pm Wednesday

A reminder that the Devon Minerals Plan Examination hearings starts on Tuesday; the Agenda can be found here. As DCC's press release makes clear, all are welcome to attend and observe proceedings:
A government inspector, Mr Andrew Freeman, will conduct the hearings to establish the soundness of the Minerals Plan. Participation in the hearings is limited to people that responded to last year’s consultation and have already requested to take part, although any person can attend to observe the hearings.
Various newspapers are following events; this is how we summed up the Straitgate situation for the Western Morning News article that appeared last week:
Destroying a productive and historic East Devon farm for the sake of 900,000 tonnes of sand and gravel makes no sense at all. There’s less than 3 years’ worth of material, which is trivial for a Minerals Plan that runs until 2033. There’s nowhere to process the material other than Aggregate Industries' existing plant, 8 miles away on Woodbury Common in the East Devon AONB; permission for this plant expires at the end of 2016, and Natural England has already objected to the importation of nitrate-rich agricultural soils to this protected area. What’s more, groundwater from Straitgate supplies wetland habitats in ancient woodland and over 100 people with their drinking water. We've made representations in the hope that, where Devon County Council has been unable to see sense, the Inspector will.