Ottery landowners asked their views on quarrying their fields
Thursday, 10 November 2011 0 Comments by Claire
Over a dozen landowners in the Ottery area have been sent a letter asking for their views about turning some of their fields into a quarry.
Devon County Council, which is the authority responsible for minerals sent the letter last week, which has caused a bit of a stir in some communities.
Landowners in West Hill, Talaton, Whimple, Feniton, Ottery St Mary and Fairmile have been asked whether they would be willing to allow their land to be used for sand and gravel quarrying.
The news follows a consultation event by Aggregate Industries (AI) earlier this year, on excavating a very large quarry (150 acres) at Straitgate Farm, near Daisymount.
The letter to local landowners raises the spectre of further quarries in this area.
Another possibility is that AI is hoping to strengthen its case for quarrying Straitgate Farm.
Myself and County Councillor for Ottery St Mary Rural Ward, Roger Giles are sceptical about whether there is a need to excavate greenfield land, with neighbours close by who stand to be adversely affected by the dust, noise and lorries, when there is already an agreed extension to Hillhead Quarry at Uffculme - the far end of the Budleigh Salterton pebblebed heaths - which is exploited for its rich seam of large stones.
The existing quarry at Hillhead, Uffculme, has no near neighbours and could provide sand and gravel needs for up to another century.
Last year Venn Ottery residents campaigned against a 60 acre quarry being opened. Aggregate Industries claim that there is only around five years worth of gravel at Venn Ottery and more sites are required in this area.
I will blog again when there is more news.