The day started with a statement by Gabriel David owner and Managing Director of Luscombe Drinks. Mr David stated that he employs 30 staff. His company, his products and brand reputation is based upon quality as well as natural ingredients and environment. People enjoy Luscombe’s products but importantly they trust what’s in the bottle and how it’s produced. The company holds a Soil Association organic certificate. The proposed development puts all this at risk, directly or indirectly. He highlighted that his house has a bore hole and that another bore site supplies water to an organic vegetable operation. He also stated that he has a bore hole close to Dean Burn which was used for washing down.
Next Mr Westmoreland Smith took the examination in chief for MVV and led Mr Garry Gray through his evidence. Mr Gray is an Associate Director of URS and is an air quality specialist. Mr Gray stated that mitigation measures meant in his technical opinion that there were no air quality concerns.
Mr Charlie Hopkins for Buckfastleigh Community Forum (BCF) then took on cross examination of Mr Gray. The approach of Mr Gray’s report was questioned; Mr Hopkins raised concerns over the validity in relation to the extraction of 300,000 tons of dolerite, in particular there is no evidence produced in Mr Gray’s report in relation to dust created from blasting. Mr Gray acknowledged that, yes, it warrants assessment but at the appropriate time when it is necessary to apply for a permit. Mr Hopkins pointed out that as this application is a full application, it is a requirement that dependant activities are included within the scope of the application; that it is recommended to apply for permit(s) in parallel for the benefit of more information being made available, clarity and transparency. Mr Gray said blasting would only have a short term impact. Also the very good air quality found in Buckfasleigh would mean that any pollution would not reach critical values. The mitigation measures amounted to ‘tried and tested
measures’— such as spraying water to prevent dust.
Following on from that, Mr Alfred Maneylaws gave evidence over noise. He is an Associate with URS and has 25 years experience in acoustics. He has in the past provided reports for mining and quarrying, and provided the Noise and Vibration Impact Assessment for Whitecleave Quarry. In his evidence he stated there are no concerns in relation to noise, which satisfied both statutory and policy requirements, especially with the use of mitigation measures. Mr Maneylaws said there would be no significant increase in noise levels through the additional HGVs passing along Plymouth, Dart Bridge and Strode Roads.
Mr Charlie Hopkins for BCF focused on the impact of blasting in his cross examination. Mr Maneylaws however, said this was only short term and therefore posed no problems in his view. He did not consider blasting within ‘noisy short term activities’ as blasting is not measured in Decibels but in air overpressure. Mr Hopkins raised questions over the fact that Mr Maneylaws had provided a model but had measured little in terms of real or actual noise impact relating to the actual surroundings. Concern was also raised over the impact of the size of lorry, which following Ms Gilpin’s evidence would be around 30 tons.
It was also noted that when baseline levels were determined Mr Maneylaws did not know or record what specific activities were taking place in Whitecleave Quarry. In addition, with reference to noise from HGVs, no specific measurements were taken along the proposed routes, along Dartbridge Road, Strode Road and Plymouth Road. When asked why not, Mr Maneylaws replied that calculation is the standard and established method.
This concludes a lengthy day at the Inquiry.
The inquiry resumes on Wednesday at 10 am with evidence over Ecology.