The day started with the continuation of the cross examination of Mr Ryan Mellor by Buckfastleigh Community Forum’s legal representative, Mr Charlie Hopkins. Mr Hopkins picked up from where he left off yesterday by challenging the blasting window period proposed, with relevance to local flora and fauna contrasting it against the time it has be suggested blasting will take. Blasting was suggested to take longer than the window that has been proposed.
He went on to challenge Mr Mellor over concerns about what it would take in terms of the disturbance towards the bats for them to halt site operations and furthermore mentioned whether monitoring will be factored into this to estimate a regulator gauge.
Mr Mellor was then re-examined by MVV’s barrister suggesting that impacts of development were short term and furthermore that there would be benefits on biodiversity from the development in the long term.
Following on from this, Mr Tim Stacey, who will be giving a statement later in the inquiry, asked a number of questions including how much reliance was placed on Mr Nuttall’s evidence.
It was then time for Mr Westmoreland Smith to lead evidence from Mr Roger Miles, who is a planning consultant with 29 years experience in waste management projects and has worked as director in numerous planning consultancies. Mr Miles said that there is no requirement to look at alternative sites and that distance for transport of IBA was only one of the factors to be considered and not as DCC suggests a major policy objective. Furthermore, he reinforced that soft market research was the only way to gauge the market. He further suggested that the development was beneficial to the local community.
This was followed by rapid fire cross examination of Mr Miles by Rupert Warren QC. One question was, what constituted ‘local’ under various permissions. Mr Warren suggested local meant the Plymouth area; Mr Miles steadfastly insisted this included all of Devon and potentially extended to Somerset and Bridgewater.
Another point was over the quality of the ‘soft’ research over the processing facilities’ future market. Mr Miles was then taken through several alternative sites and their suitability to the distances from the EFW plant.
The inquiry will resume on Tuesday 9 July at 10am with the cross examination of Mr Miles by Buckfastleigh Community Forum’s Charlie Hopkins.