Church Commissioners urged to stop plan for quarry on farmland at Newton St Cyres

Monday 12th July 2010 10:00 pm

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I AM writing on behalf of the Core Group of Sustainable Crediton to express our concern regarding the proposed quarrying of sand and gravel by Harleyford Aggregates at the Creedy Valley near Newton St Cyres.

Sustainable Crediton (formerly Crediton Climate Action) is the Transition Town initiative that has been working for over three-and-a-half years in the Crediton area. We have over 350 supporters to date.

Our aim is to raise awareness of the environmental issues that we, as a community, face due to climate change and diminishing world oil reserves (peak oil) and to create a resilient and vibrant quality of life for everyone locally in the face of such challenges.

Our concerns over this proposed new quarrying venture are as follows:

1. The permanent loss of approximately 260 acres of some of the best farmland in the area would be a serious blow to our long-term ability to feed ourselves as a community. 

We feel it is critically important that as a community we focus on producing local food to feed people within a 25 mile radius of where it is grown.

By doing so we can secure our food supplies into the future and also reduce our carbon footprint drastically.

2. If the land at Newton St Cyres cannot be re-instated as farmland after quarrying, as is thought likely, a beautiful area of Mid Devon is left with a visual eyesore for an indefinite period into the future.

3. Such a large scale operation will inevitably increase traffic congestion on the A377 and on the narrow lanes in the Newton St Cyres area which are not fit for use by large numbers of heavy vehicles. This will lead to further damage to road surfaces and roadside banks and hedges, as well as increasing environmental pollution of the area.

4. We see this enterprise as being one of short-term gain taking precedence over the long-term good of the area. This is especially so as the use of quarried sand and gravel for road building and repair is becoming increasingly unnecessary as recycled alternatives become more available.

We therefore urge the Church Commissioners, who own this land, to stop this scheme progressing any further now, before it reaches the planning application stage.

We ask that they consider the long term benefits that are to be secured by this land remaining as part of the farming infrastructure to be greatly more important than the short term financial gain such a scheme might bring.

Gerald Conyngham

Chair of Sustainable

Crediton Core Group

26 Old Tiverton Road