Planners’ approval to extend Blackhill Quarry at Woodbury will create extra jobs

PUBLISHED: 13:32 30 August 2018 | UPDATED: 13:32 30 August 2018

Blackhill Quarry

Blackhill Quarry

Archant

Planners have given their seal of approval to an application to extend the business at Blackhill Quarry, Woodbury, creating around 70 new jobs.

East Devon District Council’s development management committee will on September 4, at Knowle Sidmouth, consider the outline planning application for additional business floor space at Blackhill Quarry.

The proposed development would create in the region of 70 skilled engineering jobs; the council has received 193 letters of objection to the application because the site is located within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and within the Pebblebed Heaths Special Area of Conservation, raising concerns locally of increased traffic, pollution and the unsuitability of the site.

The outline planning application, made by Blackhill Engineering, is for the creation of up to 35,000 sq ft (3251 sq m) of additional industrial floor space on a 1.09 hectare site, historically occupied by quarry plant and machinery, situated off the B3180 at Blackhill Quarry, near Woodbury.

A spokeswoman for the district council said: “Planning officers have assessed the economic benefits of the proposal and carefully balanced these against the concerns raised about the environmental impacts of the development - and have recommended that the application be approved, subject to a number of conditions, including the provision of 2.8 hectares of new heathland to mitigate any ecological impacts and to compensate for this part of the quarry site no longer being proposed for restoration.

“The proposed highway and visual impacts are considered to be acceptable.”

Blackhill Engineering has been on the site for around 50 years, providing a wide range of machine engineering services, including large scale metal fabrication and complex machinery assembly.

Initially this was for the quarry operations, but more recently the company has taken on national and international clients, including those involved in the construction of Hinckley Point C in Somerset.

To view the planning application, see https://planning.eastdevon.gov.uk/online-applications/ and insert application reference 17/3022/MOUT.

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