A quarry company should not be allowed to sink boreholes on part of Dartmoor, a campaign group says.
The Open Spaces Society has lodged an objection to the plan to create four boreholes on common land at Yennadon Down, near Dousland. The society says the company, Yennadon Stone, is looking to extend quarrying into the area.
Kate Ashbrook, general secretary of the OSS, said: “The applicant appears not to appreciate that the land is registered common within the Dartmoor national park. People have the right to walk and ride over the whole area, and the boreholes will interfere with their enjoyment of this lovely downland, with its wide views.
“Furthermore, since the land is common, Yennadon Stone could not extend the quarry without the consent of the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for such works on the common.
“We suspect that such consent would not be forthcoming, because the quarry would be in conflict with the public’s enjoyment of this common. And the Secretary of State’s consent would be needed in addition to any planning consent from the Dartmoor National Park Authority.
“So there seems little point in going ahead with the boreholes when any consequent attempt to extend the quarry would be likely to fail.”
The company’s publicity says of its present quarry facilities: “This picturesque location is frequented by many walkers and horse riders.
“We recognise the sensitivity of the environment in which we operate, and the expectations of visitors to the area, and work closely with the national park to maintain standards applicable to this special and beautiful part of west Devon.”
Ms Ashbrook said the society was pleased the company recognised the sensitive and beautiful nature of the area, but said: “We feel it is too sensitive and beautiful to allow these works to go ahead.
“We have urged the national park authority to reject the application for boreholes.”
The Yennadon quarry has been operating for more than 70 years and has supplied stone to the Met Office and Devon County Council, among others.