Today was set aside for the planning inspector to visit numerous sites relevant to the inquiry, including Whitecleave Quarry.
The Inspector was accompanied on the site visits by representatives of MVV who is the appellant, Devon County Council and Buckfastleigh Community Forum. At all times anything that was said was in the hearing of all these parties. No evidence could be given – it was only possible to point out visual features.
- The sites visit started at the quarry itself where the parties walked around seeing all the important points of interest on the site, including down in the quarry void. The peregrines were very active. Time was spent at the entrance to the site looking at the road junction at that point and noted the OSIRIS monitoring.
- Drove around to the SSSI (Potters Wood).
- Then went to Luscombe and Lower Dean where the inspector could see the location of Dean Court Farm Shop and Dean Prior Garden Centre. Also the school bus drop-off point under the underpass.
- The next point of interest was the school bus drop off point near Half Moon Court where the inspector stood in the position the children are in when they get off the bus.
- After than the parties drove into Buckfastleigh to see a property that backs on the Dean Burn, the swimming pool, Victoria Park (including the play area and Bungalow Youth Project) and St Luke’s church (site of the ABC children’s centre).
- The Millennium Green was next and where the Dean Burn joins the Mardle, then walked right through and came out on the B3380, from where the inspector viewed the road junction and the turn-off to the steam railway.
- Then the parties drove out to Dart Bridge and back over Austin Bridge before heading along Colston Road to see boreholes and well water supplies on the Rill Estate.
- The parties came back via the Old Totnes Road to see the location of the nursing home, and then headed past the quarry and up into town to the playing fields, tennis courts and two children’s nurseries.
- We finished at Dan Murphy’s to see the location of his sound recording given as evidence to the Inquiry.
The Inspector explained that he has spent time in and around the town visiting public sites and will continue to do so over the coming weeks. These visits are unaccompanied. He will visit some of the other road junctions from the A38 (e.g. Linhay), and these will be unaccompanied visits.
The planning inspector went in the afternoon to Plymouth.