Clinton Devon Estates desperately tries to justify quarry industrial units

Owl says:

Surely, with EDDC having industrial areas aplenty at the East Devon Growth Point (where businesses enjoy a business rate holiday as a perk) there is no excuse for encouraging a heavy industry engineering company to remain at Blackhill Quarry to interfere with previously agreed remediation (already put back once) and a return to a wildlife habitat?

Blackhill Quarry: Who’s listening to the Community?

At the time this article was prepared, more than 145 individuals and resident associations had lodged formal objections against Clinton Devon Estate’s (CDE) planning application 17/3022 to create new industrial units on the Blackhill Quarry site. The condition on granting the original quarry licence was that when extraction ceased, the site should be returned to its natural state.

This number of objections is rising hourly, in spite of a determined PR campaign by CDE in the Exmouth Journal and local Parish Magazines to spin a favourable case (It’s only a small bit of land… the site proposed is currently covered in concrete and any restoration to high quality habitat will be problematic…. mitigation proposals that might secure significantly more wildlife benefits for the surrounding heathland are being discussed. Etc.) The consultation period has been extended.

Owl recalls last May CDE launched an on line “tell us what you think” survey with the introduction:

“We look to listen carefully to our staff, customers and those in our community. How we engage with you and what you think about our approach to sustainability is important to us and we want to get it right. Your feedback to this survey will play an important part in helping us develop our future communications.”

The survey asked questions such as:

To what extent do you agree with the following?

1. Clinton Devon Estates puts responsible stewardship and sustainable development at the heart of everything they do?

2. Clinton Devon Estates understands and conserves the wildlife it manages. And

3. How credible do you think “We pledge to do today what is right for tomorrow” is as a statement from Clinton Devon Estates?

anyone want to rethink their rezponses in light of the above?

How different the approach to redundant quarries can be – with East Devon the loser

North Devon:

East Devon:

“50 disused quarries turned into wildlife habitats to help Britain’s endangered birds”

Owl says: Alas not Clinton Devon Estates Blackhill Quarry, promised for environmental restoration, now subject of a heavily industrial planning application:

… “A conservation project to turn 50 quarries into nature reserves by 2020 has been completed two years early and is already saving endangered species, like the turtle dove.

In 2010, the RSPB joined forces with building materials supplier CEMEX to rejuvenate dozens of disused quarries.

And within fewer than eight years, 1,000 hectares of grassland, woodland, heath and wetland has been created which is helping rare and unusual species to flourish including 50 ‘at risk’ species.

Threatened birds which have moved into the conservation areas include turtle doves, choughs and twites, all of which have seen huge falls in numbers in the past decades. …

… Andy Spencer, Director of Sustainability, CEMEX UK said: “While supplying our customers with concrete, cement, sand and stone we also aim to balance the needs of operations with the protection and enhancement of the natural world. The RSPB has been pivotal in helping us to achieve this aim.

“The 1000th hectare that has just been created is a significant and outstanding milestone and our partnership to date has helped create some amazing places for communities and nature.”

Clinton Devon Estates and Blackhill Quarry: a critical test of the company’s environmental credentials and standards

A correspondent writes:

Sites of Environmental Significance:

We have three very special environmental sites in, or on the edge of, East Devon protected by stringent European and UK Habitat Regulations: the Exe Estuary, Dawlish Warren and the Pebblebed Heaths.

Clinton Devon Estate (CDE) is the owner of 80% of the the Pebblebed Heaths, including the land of Blackhill Quarry.

CDE web site proclaims “Responsible stewardship and sustainable development are at the heart of everything we do”.

So it seems extraordinary that CDE, instead of promoting the reinstatement of the Blackhill Quarry site as part of the Pebblebed Heaths, should, instead, be seeking to turn it into an industrial site with all the accompanying pollution (noise, light, traffic etc).

Recently Aggregate Industries withdrew an application to continue quarrying on the site and has been restoring the site to encourage wildlife. Indeed, Aggregate Industries was awarded runner up and highly commended at the Mineral Product Association’s Biodiversity Awards 2017 for its restoration of the sand and gravel quarry.

“This is an unique wildlife habitat situated close to Exeter. Designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest, a Special Area of Conservation and a Special Protection Area, this area represents one of the most important conservation sites in Europe.”

Also, studies have shown these are popular local sites, and access to them is vital to the local economy and highly valued by local people.

Access has widespread benefits including health, education, inspiration, spiritual and general well-being. While much of the access takes place regardless of the wildlife interest, that wildlife interest is also a part of the specific draw for many people. New development in the area is putting this under pressure not only by destroying green space but by increasing the footfall on what is left from an ever larger population. Local authorities have a legal duty to ensure no adverse effects occur as a result of their strategic plans.

Legally, there can be no building within 400m of these sites and also any development within 10Km requires a formal Habitats Protection Assessment with favourable conclusions. EDDC, however, accepts a funding levy from developers to get around having to do this individually, effectively taking on the responsibility for mitigation delivery themselves.

Though money might do a lot of things, it can’t create more land.

Your correspondent recalls a time when CDE were talking of using the old industrial site to enhance the existing recreation experience of the Heath. And now it wishes to develop an industrial site.

Do they think the prohibition on building within 400m doesn’t apply to them?