THE scale of proposed road building in Oxfordshire increases the need for a new quarry in the area, according to a developer.

Hills Quarry Products has long wished to build a quarry the size of 165 football pitches at Fullamoor Farm, near Clifton Hampden, and is awaiting a decision on its latest planning application.

Its group director has welcomed Oxfordshire County Council’s consultation on a proposed package of road improvements around Didcot and said it showed the 'critical need' for a local supply of sand and gravel.

Mr Andrew added: “The package of proposals being consulted on supports our long held opinion that there is a critical need for a local supply of sand and gravel to ensure the county can deliver these and other strategically important construction projects in South Oxfordshire.

“Our proposed quarry at Fullamoor on the A415 could provide a local supply of materials to these proposed projects with the added benefit of significantly lower vehicle miles and emissions.

"The benefits of a local quarry in the immediate vicinity of these road construction projects are unquestionable, in particular by avoiding unnecessary additional traffic movements transporting material by road from further afield and reducing costs to the both local taxpayer and the environment."

Local residents have long opposed a quarry in that location, arguing it would increase the congestion and pollution in the area and damage the green belt.

Hills' new application in June lengthened the life of the proposed quarry by two and half years to accommodate a reduction in the amount of material extracted.

But the latest statement from the company said a high demand for materials locally could reduce this operational life and mean the land could be restored quicker than expected.