Is it really about a wee bit of dolerite? (A tiny wee bit of low grade igneous rock in Whitecleave Quarry compared to the vast quantities available in Trusham Quarry in the Teign Valley, which is Devon County’s ‘Mineral Working Area’ for crushed rock of this sort. Existing reserves at Trusham are sufficient to last for the duration of Devon’s Mineral Plan at current rates of production – Devon’s Minerals Plan shows there is no shortage). Or is it more in the aid of the advancement of Gilpin Demolition’s commercial interests? Oh, yes, Gilpin Domolition is, well, a demolition company.
That’s right. They tear things down. They don’t quarry for rock.
You might recall that Georgina Gilpin in testimony under oath at the Appeal stated that Gilpin have no experience of quarrying.
She also said under oath that Whitecleave Quarry isn’t financially viable to quarry – there isn’t enough dolerite left!
Yet activities on and around the vicinity of the site have been escalating for years. HGV traffic and movement of all nature and size of Demolition Equipment have increased; natural habitat has been destroyed; our river has been polluted at least twice that we know about; materials, waste containers, equipment and vehicles not related to quarrying continue to be brought to and stored on site; fires have been burning for days at a time even during some of the heaviest rainfall on record.
There has been a noted increase in complaints from the community about the unbearable noise and dust created by Gilpin’s activities, lights left on in Gilpin’s workshop/office that seriously disturb a variety of European protected rare and endangered bats and a relentless increase in industrial vehicle movements.
In short, Gilpin have been grooming the Whitecleave Quarry site for their own industrial use, demolition business use like infilling areas with “inert” Construction & Demolition WASTE, since they took on the lease in 2008.
And Devon County’s Monitoring Officer has been aware of this all along. As has Devon County’s Solicitor. How? This community has been telling them!
But they’ve not listened. They’ve basically implied that those making complaints are liars unless they provide evidence, such as photos. This community has fundamentally been performing the monitoring of conditions. Monitoring that should be done by Devon County. It’s their responsibility.
Devon County granted permission to work minerals at Whitecleave Quarry, with conditions attached. It’s their job to monitor and ENFORCE those conditions. Our taxes pay their wages to provide this service. And it’s monitoring and enforcement that is meant to build the public’s confidence and trust in the planning system.
Neither the Head of Planning nor the County Solicitor has bothered to enforce breaches of conditions. Gilpin gets away with numerous breaches that should by law be adhered to in order to protect the environment, ensure the EU protected species are safe and protect the amenity of this community. The ‘Competent Authority’ has continually refused to act.
Whitecleave Quarry, a site that used to be so rich in biodiversity, has been seriously damaged by Gilpin to such an extent that by the time Gilpin Demolition are done with it there may be no species or natural habitat left to protect.
It seems our ‘Competent Authority’ values industrial development so highly as to let Gilpin ride roughshod over all species and habitat, protected or not, as well as this community, with little if any regard to due process, with decisions based upon yesterday’s thinking, out of date methodologies, lack of evidence and self interest.
After all, it’s far more important to strip the earth of its natural resources, isn’t it? Society really desperately needs Gilpin’s demolition business more than endangered flora and fauna, right? We really need demolition waste containers and equipment stored 45 meters from residential properties, don’t we?