It is interesting that Natural England, the East Devon AONB and even EDDC oppose this extension of use for a further 5 years.
If this site had been reclaimed in 2012 (as could have happened) the increased recreational area would be a great recreational benefit to the developments in the western side of East Devon (SANGS) and also Exeter yet this did not seem to make any difference to DCC’s decision at the time.
Industrial Aggegates has now submitted new evidence in its quest to continue to use the Blackhill Quarry for a further 5 years to process imported sand and gravel from Straitgate Quarry, Ottery St. Mary. ( planning application DCC/3775/2015)
Two previous deadlines for de-commissioning have not been honoured. The original restoration of the site was supposed to be complete in 2012. A further decision in 2008 allowed importation until November 2009. The final approval in April 2011 stipulated that all operations cease by 2016.
The impact is severe as traffic takes aggregate in for storage & processing and the same traffic movements ships it out on very narrow Devon roads , in total 200 movements daily.
The site is in the East Devon AONB and lies adjacent to the Pebblebeds Heaths SYA, SAC and SSSI. It therefore has the highest level of protection in regards to the environment, landscape and habitats. The stocking of large amounts of aggregate is contrary to all international, national and local policies.
It is interesting to note that a planning inspector recently refused a planning application in Talaton in part because it was within 10 km of the East Devon pebblebeds SSSI, when this quarry is even closer.