The ludicrous plan, currently being discussed by various authorities, to develop a quarry at Straitgate Farm, the location of a grade II-listed Devon longhouse, is not justified economically. Plentiful reserves elsewhere in the county will meet demand for many years and the Government has recommended that brownfield sites should be fully exploited before new sites are developed.
Such a development will not result in the creation of a single job, as the company involved concedes, and, arguably, the devastating impact on tourism could reduce employment levels in the area. One of the first views of Ottery would be a major industrial site, visible for many miles around, and which would spew dust, dirt and pollution into the atmosphere, whilst simultaneously posing the possibility of road congestion, and thus the possibility of more accidents in the immediate vicinity.
Quarrying for the relatively modest reserves at Straitgate could have a detrimental impact on the water table and thus on local water supplies and might well increase the prospect of flooding in Ottery, which would be ironic given the expensive efforts made to avoid such disasters for local residents.
It is suggested that output from Straitgate would be moved along the B3180 to be processed at Blackhill. On the basis of official statistics, parts of this narrow and unsuitable road are already very dangerous indeed and the imposition of another 100 movements by 44-ton trucks each day, would, inevitably, cause even more accidents. This appalling extra traffic, which implies one truck every five minutes, would also cause additional noise and at least one more tonne of carbon dioxide would be emitted daily.
This totally unnecessary project offers nothing to the local community except noise, pollution, and degradation of our beautiful countryside. The objections of so many local groups and individuals are balanced and reasonable reactions to a project that lacks any merit and imposes needless problems on the local community.
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Objections should be emailed to email@example.com or put on the Devon County Council website, www.devon.gov.uk/mineralsites Alternatively, please ring 01392 383510 to voice your objections. All comments must be received by April 30.
Devon County Council are holding a meeting at County Hall in Exeter on April 26 at 10.30am and as many local people should attend to show that humans, as well as wildlife, count.
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Devon House, West Hill, Ottery St. Mary