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Farming Diversification into Industrial Scale Muck Spreading

 
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Rhodie



Joined: 14 Sep 2005

Posts: 425
Location: Rhode Hill, Uplyme

PostPosted: 15/05/12, 09:24    Post subject: Farming Diversification into Industrial Scale Muck Spreading Reply with quote

Remember a local farmer’s venture into diversification?

http://uplyme.com/debate/viewtopic.php?t=200&highlight=auto+grass

Well he’s at it again, under a permit issued by the Environment Agency, spreading on his fields off Spring Head Road just north of the Coach Road liquid milk processing waste on an industrial scale. The spreading of the waste, currently we are in a period of respite, will again begin after the summer but his permit must first be renewed.

A fleet of large yellow articulated tanker lorries with appropriate ‘POO’ registration plates are used to transport tens of thousands of gallons of effluent to the site from locations far and wide. The actual origin or contents of the tankers is a little vague. Notices that I’ve seen suggest that anything can turn up including animal slurry. When the site is being used these vehicles can be found parked in various lay-bys in the area waiting their turn to enter Harcombe Road from Raymond’ s Hill. Their route is then via the single track upper section of Spring Head Road to the site, causing chaos on the roads normally restricted to vehicles of less than 7.5 tonnes for purposes other than that of access.

At the May meeting of The Parish Council the councillors were to a man and woman opposed to the continuation of this activity and their reasons included:

 Congestion caused on the narrow access roads.
 Damage being caused to roads and particularly the un-metalled Coach Road.
 Offensive odours.
 Possibility of pollution of the Lym.
 Damage to the soil fauna and soil structure.

It is probably 20 years since these same fields were used for similar disposal of dairy waste and I hoped that it would have been the last. On that occasion the pollutant entered the Lym and on being informed the Environment Agency stopped the work immediately. Permits are now required for these activities but decisions on their issue are apparently taken in Sheffield by officers unaware of local conditions particularly the size of access roads. The current permit allowing this liquid landfill process expires on 24th May 2012 and it is the intention of the operator to seek renewal. It is ironic, now with brown scum beginning to appear in the ditches below the site, that the Environment Agency are issuing these permits for an activity which threatens the water quality of the Lym and subsequently Lyme’s bathing beaches whilst at the same time attempting to track down why the Lym is causing the beaches to fail bathing quality standards.

The actual permit reminds the permit holder that his deployment activity should not -

 Be harmful to human health, or the quality of the environment,
 Cause offence to human sense,
 Result in damage to material property or
 Impair or interfere with amenities or other legitimate uses of the environment or
 Use processes which could endanger human health or harm the environment.

It could be argued that the ‘holder’ on many of the above bullet points should have the permission withheld. In fact compare this list with that listing the concerns of the Parish council.

The Environment Agency’s concern for the quality of the environment only goes so far. For they have openly admitted that the effect numerous bulk tanker movements have on other road users and people living along the single-track access roads to the site is not in their brief. Because planning permission is not required for this activity the district and county councils are not involved. Transportation, a major aspect of this activity, is therefore not considered. This is where these operations differ from the otherwise similar activity of landfill. Many landfill planning applications are not successful because of the vehicle movements that would be involved. The bulk spreading of industrial wastes on agricultural land ideally should also be subject obtaining planning permission.

If you feel this activity should not continue or perhaps the conditions should be modified then please contact:

Mr Jonathan Bailey,
Devon Area Manager,
Environment Agency,
Exminster House,
Miller Way, Exeter, EX6 8AS

The Parish Council suggests that a letter would have more influence than an email but if time is of the essence, and I believe it is – see below, then his address is:

jonathan.bailey1@environment-agency.gov.uk.

Quoting the following details:

Permit Reference: JP3497EB
Land Owner: Mr Voysey, Furzeleigh Down Farm, Axminster, Devon
Permit Holder: Philip Trim Contractors Ltd.

Please note with a planning application the public is told of the various dates of the procedure such as when objections must be in and when the decision will be made. With permits issued by the Environment Agency we are kept in the dark. The only date that is public is the date when the old permit expires and that is 24th May 2012 in this case. The decision will probably be made before this date so accordingly any objection you intend making should be made NOW!
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Rhodie



Joined: 14 Sep 2005

Posts: 425
Location: Rhode Hill, Uplyme

PostPosted: 20/05/12, 21:21    Post subject: Re: Farming Diversification into Industrial Scale Muck Sprea Reply with quote

I wrote:
With permits issued by the Environment Agency we are kept in the dark. The only date that is public is the date when the old permit expires and that is 24th May 2012 in this case.

Wrong.

My suggestion that the public are kept in the dark regarding the issuing, renewal and in fact everything connected with permits issued by the Environment Agency has been born out in an acknowledgement of receipt of my objection from the Jonathan Bailey Environment Manager for the EA at Exminster.

He puts me right by saying, ‘I would like to explain that it is the waste deployment (spreading of the waste), not the permit that is coming up for renewal’

Therefore if you intend writing to the EA please bear this in mind! Although I don’t know what it means. Can anyone help?
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Rhodie



Joined: 14 Sep 2005

Posts: 425
Location: Rhode Hill, Uplyme

PostPosted: 21/05/12, 21:58    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another correction. I said ‘tens of thousands of gallons’ of effluent. I have now seen the environment Agency’s Deployment form for this activity. The total area of land that this ‘Deployment’ covers is just under 50 hectares and includes not only the land I mentioned in my original post but most of the fields bordered by Lyme Road, Spring Head Road and Yawl Hill. The contractor has permission to spread 8,400 units on this land. Sorry that’s not gallons or even litres but tonnes. In old money that’s about 1,850,200 gallons or 37,000 gallons per hectare. Therefore on the 15.73 hectares in the Coach Road area the total would be not ‘tens of thousands of gallons’ but about 600,000 gallons.
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