Morden Parish Council response to DCC Consultation

Response to Consultation document Mineral Extraction Site AS23

Dear sirs,                                                                                                                                                          

Morden Parish Council would like to register our concerns about Gore Heath AS23 site.

1.       Loss of historic open space

This area has been in public use for 90 years and is a major outdoor space for people in large area including Poole and is promoted as an amenity for visitors to Purbeck. Unlike many other open spaces this Forest has a variety of circular routes of varying lengths; these are much used by walkers, cyclists, runners and horse riders. Some of these forestry tracks are suitable for and much used by disabled buggies. The extensive and daily use is evidenced by the fact that the car parking areas at Sherford Bridge and Lawsons Clump are busy at all times and in all seasons. At holiday times and at weekends throughout the year they are often overflowing.

2.       Habitat

Gore Heath is an area of forest which is reverting to lowland heath; this is the most endangered landscape type in the country consisting of native heaths and rare acid and bog loving plants. The area is also vital for wildlife of all type, birds including nightjars and other ground nesting birds, native reptiles and amphibians, insects and mammals. Moreover it adjoins the nationally protected area of SSSI Morden Bog and the Gore Hill herpetological reserve.

3.       Site impact

This site would be virtually impossible to screen without turning it into another Puddletown Road. Because it is a sloping site the visual impact would be considerable, not only close up but also the long views from the Wareham Forest and Woolsbarrow castle historic earthworks and the Purbeck ridge would be damaged.  There would be considerable risk of water pollution. Water from the site and works would run down the Morden Bog SSI and eventually drain into the Wareham rivers and the Poole Harbour Basin. There would be a need for high security fencing  around the working area and intrusive lighting to protect the machinery. Moreover there will have to be a treatment and handling plant with heavy machinery, and a washing plant, all creating noise and dust.  All this is unacceptable particularly in such an important wild area.

4.       Traffic Hazards.

100 lorry movements a day is the very least one would expect for such a site which would be  one lorry every 5 minutes in an 8 hour period. The exit would be onto the B3075 which is an undulating road with hidden dips and brows, and has a bad accident record. Moreover the road is barely wide enough for two lorries to pass as evidenced by the damage to the road edges and verges during the recent temporary diversion. Exit to the south via the A351 through Sandford is unsuitable due to existing heavy congestion. Exit north onto the A35 at Morden Park Corner would greatly increase the danger and congestion at an already busy and dangerous junction. This is already an accident black spot.

It is assumed that that much of the aggregates would be transferred North to the Mendips as is common from Dorset sites. HGV movements north along the B3075,  a narrow and bendy road,  would not only be dangerous but would have a serious impact on the life of the people of Morden Parish.

 

Finally we are seriously concerned that the proposer of this site is not a recognised aggregate company but is well known as a waste disposal company. 

Therefore we feel strongly that this is a totally unsuitable site as part of the Dorset Mineral Sites Plan

Yours faithfully,

 

Morden Parish Council.