Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Minerals Plan

At the DMC meeting next week, councillors will be asked to endorse the Devon Minerals Plan, and with it Straitgate Farm as a Preferred Area. DCC's press release, the one that claims "We have carefully considered all feedback" etc etc "We have worked hard with local residents" etc etc, also claims:
The Council proposed a number of modifications necessary to enable to [sic] Plan to be adopted... These include... recognising the latest circumstances and need for improved mitigation at Straitgate Farm..."
So let's check those modifications (in red) again:

Can anyone see any improved mitigation?? Because as far as local people are concerned, the removal of the 1 metre buffer of unquarried material, recommended by the Environment Agency to protect more than 100 people's drinking water supplies, looks the complete opposite.

The Officer’s report reminds us that:
On the matter of the location of processing plant, the inspector noted the nature conservation and highway constraints for Blackhill Quarry, but “would not rule out the possibility of an acceptable solution”. He also noted the potential availability of an alternative location at Rockbeare Hill Quarry as “a matter to be debated…at the application stage”.
But that's not quite what it seems either. Events have already over taken the Inspector and the Minerals Plan, because we now know that AI has no intention to process Straitgate material at either of those locations, but a completely unsustainable 23 miles away instead.

Remember DCC's justification for Straitgate Farm in the first place, 5.4.8 in the new Minerals Plan?
Maintaining the production of sand and gravel from the southern and northern parts of the Pebble Beds is also important in minimising transportation distances to the main markets in Devon and adjoining areas in accordance with Objective 1 and Policy M1.
Transporting Straitgate's "southern" material to "northern" Uffculme would total 2.5 million miles; so not in fact minimising transportation distances after all.

Next Wednesday, councillors will be a asked to vote on a false premise; how would they vote if the Minerals Plan were to detail a crazy 2.5 million mile haulage scheme instead?