For further, more detailed information, click on the underlined title or image for each area of concern.
In 2009 the World Health Organisation reaffirmed that crystalline silica is a known carcinogen. It is not known how far silica dust can travel, however the health risks of airborne silica dust particles include respiratory disease, silicosis, pulmonary disease and cancer. It can create breathing problems for people who have asthma, emphysema, and other obstructive lung diseases. Symptoms can appear many years after breathing silica dust with the young, elderly and those with prior respiratory conditions being most at risk.
Special Area of Conservation – SAC
Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) are strictly protected sites designated under the EC Habitats Directive. Article 3 of the Habitats Directive requires the establishment of a European network of important high-quality conservation sites. This site is a ria system in South-West England and supports a wide range of communities representative of marine inlets and shallow bays.
The South West Coast Path
“The Walk of a Lifetime” – The South West Coast Path National Trail is rated as one of the top walks to be found anywhere in the world by Lonely Planet and walking magazines. However, the developers have obtained planning permission to fence the area including a 1.8m high security fencing along the south west boundary abutting the South West Coast path, two 6.2m high foot bridges passing over the quarry, with closures during blasting for upto 30 minutes.
Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – AONB
Nearly a third of Cornwall is designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty granting it the same status and protection as a National Park. The Lizard peninsula, particularly the area around St Keverne and Coverack is unique, where a combination of the mild climate and complex geology has produced an area with a very distinctive character. It includes some habitats and species which are unique to the Lizard and others which are extremely rare, hence the National Nature Reserve, with Special Areas of Conservation and Sites of Special Scientific Interest designations. Tourism is a vital part of the rural economy and the AONB is deeply valued by visitors and recognised as a key economic resource.
Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)
The area is an SSSI, but this is only partly due to the unusual geology, as it includes the topography and mild oceanic climate leading to the development of unique flora and many nationally scare species. This includes Erica Vagans which, in the British Isles, is confined to the Lizard Peninsula and County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. Additonally, areas of the coastline which have been quarried in previous times have revealed sites of geological interest.
Marine mammals and bird migration
The development of the quarry, including heavy, regular explosions, threatens the bird breeding grounds and stop off points for migratory birds. It will jeopardise the habitat of bottlenose dolphins, grey seals, minke whales and basking sharks – all regularly seen off the coast here.
Summary findings from a noise impact were presented by Shire Oak Quarries Ltd at public meeting on 30th Jan 2105. The assessment incorrectly stated that Dean Quarry is ‘in a remote section of the Lizard Peninsular’ – in fact there are several hamlets within 500 m and St. Keverne is less than 1k away. The noise levels at times will be 3dB above the limits deemed suitable in a rural environment – this will have a considerable impact on how far and how intensely this disturbance will be heard. Further noise pollution will be created by explosions at the quarry and loading and unloading of rock onto barges and lorries.
Shire Oak failed to provide comprehensive information on the social-economic impact in their application to re-open the quarry at the scale demanded. An independent socio-economic impact study has been requested by Andrew George MP and others. Government planning guidance supports conservation and enhancement of the natural environment towards a rural economy that centres on sustainable rural tourism, diversification of agriculture, local business and support services to enhance village life. Creating a super quarry is in direct opposition to this guidance.
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