Monday, 20 March 2017

AI intends to process Straitgate material with mobile plant. How sustainable is that?

How many, many times have we heard from Aggregate Industries representatives that mobile processing plant is not up to the job for material from the southern part of Budleigh Salterton Pebble Beds? More than we care to remember, but here we are, a new application for Straitgate Farm, with this:
New mobile processing plant is to be installed in [Hillhead Quarry] and it is this plant which would be used to process the Straitgate minerals. 3.14
Local people will remember that in 2010 for the Venn Ottery quarry application, AI justified the need to extend the life of Blackhill processing plant on Woodbury Common - instead of using the industrial site at Rockbeare - by claiming:
The option to provide fixed plant at Rockbeare has the advantage of the site being outside of the AONB. However, the Applicant considered that this would be uneconomical in terms of the investment required due to the limited permitted reserves at Venn Ottery and Marshbroadmoor [Rockbeare]. Again, if mobile plant were to be used at Rockbeare the range of materials would be less, sales reduced, and the life of Venn Ottery Quarry prolonged. 6.17 
In 2015, it was the same for the last Straitgate planning application:
The substitution of the Blackhill plant with a mobile processing plant would severely restrict the output and product range to serve market demand. 8.30
If AI's mobile processing plant is now to be used for material from Straitgate, presumably we can assume that this would again severely restrict the output and product range to serve market demand.

That’s not a very sustainable use of what is apparently such a rare and precious resource, is it?