AN OXFORDSHIRE quarry is set to nearly double in size.

Multi Aggregate Ltd is planning to expand its operation at Shellingford Quarry, between Faringdon and Wantage, by 29 hectares.

The development would involve the extraction of about 2.65 million tonnes of sand and 1.65 million tonnes of limestone over the period of about 20 years, largely for use by the construction industry.

In a planning application to Oxfordshire County Council, Multi Aggregate revealed that an ecological survey had highlighted a number of rare or notable species recorded living within 1km of the proposed expansion area, including the nationally-protected grey partridge, red kite, hobby, lapwing and cuckoo.

It also noted that a pond 400m from the expansion area was found some years ago to have great crested newts.

The company has already said that it plans to return the entire expansion area to a combination of agricultural land and a range of semi-natural habitats including species-rich grassland, open water and woodland with hedgerows after the 20 year operation.

Members of public can see the full plans on the county council website at using reference code MW.0104/18.