Exmouth beauty spot should not be used for processing, OVA says

PUBLISHED: 06:30 28 October 2015

A lorry leaving the entrance to the Blackhill Quarry on Woodbury Common. Ref exe 1158-43-15SH.

A lorry leaving the entrance to the Blackhill Quarry on Woodbury Common. Ref exe 1158-43-15SH.

Archant

Campaigners are calling for an end to a processing plant at Blackhill Quarry, near Exmouth.

The Otter Valley Association (OVA) is urging its members to write letters of opposition to Devon County Council (DCC) planners.

Aggregate Industries submitted an application to DCC earlier this year to extend the life of its existing processing plant at the quarry to 2021.

Quarry bosses say the plans would not create any environmental impact.

The company’s planning statement said: “The proposals are not for the release of new mineral reserves or any changes to the built form of the plant site, but to amend the period over which the plant may operate.”

The chairman of the OVA, Roger Saunders, has called plans to extend the use of Pebblebed Heaths as storage for aggregate as ‘perverse’.

He said: “The issue with Blackhill Quarry is there is no longer quarrying done there.

“There are also the 200 daily movements of large lorries bringing the aggregate from the quarry site and, of course, taking the aggregate where it is needed.

“To undertake production in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is not an appropriate use of an AONB area.”

The application would allow Aggregate Industries to process imported sand and gravel beyond 2016. The company has also put in a planning application to begin extracting sand and gravel from Straitgates Farm, in Ottery St Mary.

The planning statement estimates that almost 300,000 tonnes of gravel and sand could be transported, using HGVs, from Straitgates to Blackhill Quarry for processing.

It also states there could be as many as 140 HGVs going in and out of the Blackhill site every day.

Anyone who wants to have their say should email planning@devon.gov.uk

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