VILLAGERS are ready to restart a battle to stop a quarry being built on their doorstep after a developer returned with a new application.

Hills Quarry Products was rejected in November in its attempts to get planning permission to build a quarry the size of 165 football pitches at Fullamoor Farm, near Clifton Hampden.

Now, rather than appeal the initial decision, the developer has decided to start from scratch with a new application.

New plans have now lodged with Oxfordshire County Council.

Hills would build an access road on to the A415 and is proposing to restrict HGVs during rush hours and reduce the number of trips from nine to eight an hour, in a bid to try to stop congestion.

The operational life of the quarry would be 12-and-a-half years and it would be returned to agricultural land and lakes upon completion.

But objectors say the the new application still fails to answer major concerns.

They argue that heavy lorries using the quarry would increase congestion and pollution on a busy main road and the quarry would cause ‘immense damage’ to Oxford’s green belt.

Hills argues ‘special circumstances’ exist to build on the green belt, namely that it will provide minerals for the county and reduce the cost and need to transport those materials from elsewhere.

But opponents say the county council has sufficient supplies of sand and gravel to last more than two decades, so there is no urgency for any new sites.

Another quarry between Wallingford and the village of Cholsey was approved in December and will extract 2.5 million tonnes in 18 years.

A spokesman for Burcot and Clifton Hampden to Protect the River Thames (Bachport), Giles Baxter, said: “This fresh move from Hills suggests they know the application is deeply flawed and they could not win an appeal.

“Hills has re-ignited the fight and we will put forward a robust rejection of their claims.”

He added: “Any new proposal will destroy this scenic local landscape by the River Thames for a generation and cause immense harm to the enjoyment of residents and visitors alike.

“No amount of tinkering with the number of lorry movements gets over the plain fact that this quarry is an inappropriate development in the green belt, with no special circumstances to justify it.”

Previous applications to build the quarry were opposed by South Oxfordshire District Council, Abingdon Town Council and the UK Atomic Energy Authority.

Peter Andrew, group director for Hills, said: “This amended application takes into account concerns raised by the planning officer and highways authority and proposes a 20 per cent reduction in traffic from the site, with a prohibition on site traffic during peak morning and evening rush hours.

“To accommodate these changes, the annual tonnage has been reduced by 50,000 tonnes per annum, which lengthens the life of the site by an additional two-and-half-years.”