Monday, 1 February 2016

AI’s applications slip again

Aggregate Industries wrote to DCC at the end of November with likely timescales for the supply of further information for the Straitgate Farm and Blackhill planning applications, saying that "the next [development management] committee date is 16th March 2016 and this should now be our aim".

It's now clear that AI will not meet that target. In fact, it’s unlikely that the matter will be determined anytime soon. Drainage trials scheduled for December were postponed until January, and are now expected sometime before the end of March. Plans for a new site access would necessitate a new site boundary, a new planning application, new designs, new reports and new surveys.

So, for all DCC’s bluster that this site is deliverable for the Minerals Plan, for all AI’s "years of careful planning", there's still much to prove before a Swiss cement conglomerate can tear apart an East Devon farm. With all the reports and expense, and the limited resource above the maximum winter water table with the 1m standoff, Straitgate must be a consultant’s dream, and a mineral company’s nightmare.