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Council backs residents in planning fight

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: December 18, 2013

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FEARS have been raised about the loss of quality of life for Treviscoe residents if expansion plans by china clay giant Imerys are approved.

Imerys proposes to develop a concrete blocks manufacturing plant on land north of the 29-acre former Kernick Mica Dam site at Little Treviscoe.

The firm also wants to export sand and gravel, saying it will produce 12 million concrete blocks a year and 130,000 tonnes per year of sand and gravel.

Imerys said the development will create between 20 and 30 jobs and safeguard and promote the long-term viability of the china clay industry in mid-Cornwall.

But the plans have sparked opposition with locals who say it will bring hundreds more lorries thundering through the village, which is already blighted by large vehicles and HGVs.

On Wednesday, members of St Stephen-in-Brannel Parish Council's planning committee refused to support the application.

Parish councillor Keith Wonnacott criticised Imerys' proposals and said the firm had failed to come up with a solution to contend with the 90 lorries a day that would be running through the village, alongside the incinerator traffic, once the plant is fully operational.

"It will be one lorry every three minutes, he said.

"I will argue at any meeting that the infrastructure in and around Treviscoe is not suitable."

"Yes, there is a need for jobs but 30 jobs are not significant enough to ruin the quality of life of the people of Treviscoe," he added

Resident Trish May, 67, whose home is on the main road, spoke out at the meeting.

She said: "The houses alongside the narrow road through the village suffer, not only from the thundering noise of passing lorries, but from the circulation of dust from clay works and CO2 emissions exacerbated by the existing stream of lorries, cars and buses. Further heavy vehicle movements will only increase the problem."

Vehicles are currently forced to mount the pavement, lorries reverse, pedestrians jump into hedges, and the railway bridge has been damaged several times, while the grade two listed Trerice Bridge takes the strain from the weight of the lorries.

She said: "St Dennis will have the incinerator but we will have all the traffic.

"We have children, we have babies, we have old people in the community and we cannot take anymore."

John Hodkin, Imerys' business development service manager, said there was an "emerging aggregates market" and the jobs created would be "beneficial to the community".

The firm is looking at the existing rail line to transport the blocks, sand and gravel to reduce traffic. It is also considering if its existing haul roads could be used.

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2 comments

  • chrisfry  |  December 18 2013, 12:12PM

    I also attended the parish council meeting, there were a few points I wanted to raise but due to time restraints in the meeting I was unable so I would like to bring to your attention those points, firstly the hgv movements needs to be realised as if the blocks works go ahead and once up and running the hgv movements will top 240 movements a day, and this is if the rail link goes ahead and is viable which IMERYS quotes will take 3/4 of the thousands of tonnes of aggregates and 13 million blocks a year, but if this viable!! rail link is not used (weather) etc we will see the hgv movements increase to 960 a day and 5280 movements a week, that's motorway traffic using a c road, I would have liked to ask were IMERYS market is for the rail export of the aggregates and blocks, a quick search on the internet shows there are quite a number of block making facilities in the south alone so is it viable for there materials to be transported by rail in a market that is already covered by similar outlets, lastly why the residents were only notified of this planning proposal after a parish planning meeting with IMERYS had already taken place, surely we should have all been notified of this before the meeting, also only a select few of residents were sent letters of the proposal, when I tried to raise this point as we had a request for the parish council we were told we were out of time, all the residents in Treviscoe, st Dennis and st Stephen should have been sent the planning proposal letters as it will effect them if this goes ahead.

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  • Marypf  |  December 18 2013, 8:57AM

    I attended the Parish Council Meeting as a resident of 14 years in Treviscoe and was surprised at how vague Chris Varco and his colleagues from Imerys were, in response to questions put to them, by both member of the public and Parish Councillors. All figures given were predictions and seemed to differ from those put in the planning application. Too many predictions and not enough hard facts. 90 lorries a day is actually 180 lorry movements which is quite significant to the people of Treviscoe. Treviscoe and some of the surrounding villages come under the Mineral Local Plan 1998 and as such should be protected by Cornwall Council as they have Island Settlement Status. Clay lorries are already breaching this agreement, as are decibel levels and these issues and many others need to be addressed before Imerys are considered responsible enough to be granted further planning in this area.

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