Consultation on Minerals Plan

Blackhill Quarry

Posted on: 19 March 2012

A public consultation has been launched by Devon County Council as part of its emerging Minerals Plan.

The Plan aims to maintain a steady supply of construction materials over the next 20 years to support Devon’s growth, and the consultation is exploring potential sites for sand and gravel quarrying.

Devon County Council has focused its search for sites on the Pebble Beds in East and Mid Devon, which supply 85% of the county’s sand and gravel. Following detailed appraisal of over 20 options, two sites have been identified as ‘preferred sites’ for public comment. These are Straitgate Farm, near Ottery St Mary, and Penslade, to the north of Uffculme.

To help people find out more about the consultation, exhibitions are being held on Tuesday 27 March at West Hill Village Hall, and at The Square Corner in Uffculme on Thursday 5 April. Both events will run from 4.30pm to 7pm.

The County Council is keen to hear the views of local residents and organisations on the preferred sites.

Councillor Will Mumford, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Economy, Enterprise and Employment, said:

“This is an opportunity for local people to help us in our ongoing development of our Minerals Plan and we’re keen to hear people’s views through this consultation. In particular we’re inviting people to raise any grounds of concern they may have over quarrying, to allow the Council to consider ways in which these can be addressed.”

Councillor James McInnes, Chairman of Devon County Council’s Development Management Committee, said:

“While Devon’s existing quarries have sufficient reserves for a few more years, it is necessary to plan ahead now by identifying new sites to be developed when the existing ones close. We want residents and organisations to take part in this consultation so that we strike the right balance which can help our county benefit from its natural minerals while minimising the impact on the environment and communities.”

The consultation runs until 30 April 2012, and can be viewed online at

Alternatively, a copy of the consultation leaflet can be obtained by calling 01392 383510.

3 comments on “Consultation on Minerals Plan

  1. Emma Grainger on said:

    I object to the plans to develop the Straightgate Farm quarry site as any risk to the water table above Ottery St Mary is not acceptable. Ottery has suffered enough from flood damage and to deliberately risk more damage is foolish.

  2. Chris Abel on said:

    I am a resident of West Hill and live on the B3180. This road is well known to be used by a growing number of heavy goods vehicles including heavy lorries hauling aggregates and other quarry minerals. As it is also a tourist route to the East Devon Coastal resorts and other local holiday and tourist attractions it is regularly used by tour companies with large coaches and buses. It is also in regular use, both mornings and afternoons during term time, by school buses. I consider it has already reached a point of over saturation for this class of road. It has areas too narrow for large vehicles to pass with safety particularly on bends.

    If the proposed new quarry site at Straightgate farm would necessitate the haulage of quarry products from this site using the B3180, or part of this road, I would be strongly against this proposal on grounds of public safety. I would expect the local community to hold the planning authority, the highways department and the mineral company, fully accountable in the event of any future road traffic incidents on this road. Even when heavy goods vehicles are not directly involved, the level of driver frustration caused by lorries has been a major contributory factor in incidents involving speeding and dangerous overtaking on this road in the past.

    If quarry materials require transporting to Blackhill for processing then I feel the Staightgate farm proposal is totally unacceptable. I also believe this site to be unviable for a number of other reasons already mentioned by others. However, if the proposal does eventually get approval I would suggest that processing must be carried out on site at Straightgate farm, or that processing facilities be provided near to the Cranbrook development where a transport hub is being developed. This major East Devon development, I understand, is where the majority of these aggregates will be required over the next twenty years.

  3. Tim Elliott on said:

    The last thing in the world that Ottery St Mary needs is a quarry on its doorstep.The potential destruction of approximately 100 acres of land,the vast increase in traffic through the narrow streets in the town in particular big lorries,the dust and noise issues and also the effect on land drainage greatly increasing the risk of flooding in the already high flood risk area does not bear thinking about.In my opinion this is madness and cannot be given the go ahead.

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