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Setback for Aggregate Industries quarry plan opponents

Oct, 08 2010

(Devon, UK) -- Campaigners have received a setback in their opposition to a quarry reopening in the Devon countryside.

The sand and gravel quarry at a beauty spot at Venn Ottery, Hill, near Ottery St Mary, is due to restart operations to extract sand and gravel in the New Year.

However, members of the Venn Ottery Hill Action Group are opposed to work recommencing by Aggregate Industries.

The company plans to resume operations on the site which is in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and near a nature reserve.

A meeting of Newton Poppleford Parish Council decided not to object to a county council traffic order allowing lorries to use the site.

The action group, members of which attended the parish meeting, hoped to gain support in their campaign.

However, the parish council decided not to oppose it. Instead it called for conditions to include improvements at the main junction of the A3052 at Half Way Inn. The council is also calling for warning signs on the B3180 Ottery St Mary road which passes near the quarry.

The county council meets on October 20 to discuss the traffic implications of lorries using the quarry.

Among those to express fears is Bill Passmore of Higher Metcombe, near the site.

Mr Passmore, 69, who attended a recent exhibition by AI at the site said the amount of traffic will be a worry.

He said during the summer the number of vehicles using the A3052 and the B3180 increases significantly.

"What is proposed leaves a sour taste because it will affect people's lives," he said.

"It could be seen as local people being of little consequence.

"The Half Way Inn junction is dangerous and this will be used by lorries going to and from the quarry.

"Queues already stretch back along the B3180 and the road to Exmouth in the summer due to holiday traffic.

"There is already a tremendous amount of traffic from the Exmouth direction at the A3052 junction and lorries carrying sand and gravel will add to the problems.

"I think many campaigners will be very disappointed over the decision by the parish council.

"As far as them asking for signage I personally don't think this will make any difference. However, the junction at the A3052 does need improving."

David Atkins, clerk of the parish council and a district councillor for the ward where AI's Blackhill Quarry is located, said the comments will be made known in time for the county council meeting on October 20.

By: John Fletcher

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