Monday, 24 February 2014

On top of a hill overlooking Ottery St Mary... tree planting around a potential quarry

If Aggregate Industries had no intention of waiting for Devon’s new Minerals Plan before deciding where to put its latest quarry, no intention of waiting for planning permission before deciding the boundaries, then why on earth did it not plant these saplings 20 years ago, when they might have made some difference to the people living a short distance away, some difference to the hedgerow wildlife it plans to displace or destroy? Or is this 'readying of the site' just a form of intimidation, a big quarry foot in the door - "we’re on our way, and no-one's going to stop us"?

Many local people might rightly wonder what the point of Devon's Minerals Plan is - to them it all looks like a done deal; that it's the minerals company that decides where to dig, not the Council, not the Environment Agency, not Natural England and definitely not local people.

For the avoidance of doubt, it's the green agricultural land - about 86 acres - on the left of the fencing in the photograph and beyond, on the slopes overlooking Ottery, that AI wants to take for quarrying; a more visually intrusive position, opposite East Hill AONB, would be hard to find.