A CONTROVERSIAL sand and gravel quarry near Abingdon will be discussed at a meeting next week.

Hills Quarry Products’ original plans for the quarry on land near Clifton Hampden were rejected by members of Oxfordshire County Council’s planning committee in November 2017.

The application is for the extraction of 2.5 million tonnes of sand and gravel from an area north of the River Thames between Clifton Hampden and Culham.

READ AGAIN: Clifton Hampden quarry plans are back on the agenda

Permission is sought for a 12.5-year period for the land at Fullamoor Plantation, where there would also be a new plant site and a new access onto the A415.

Oxford Mail:

The company has made several changes to its proposals and has re-submitted an application, which will be discussed by councillors on Monday at County Hall in Oxford at 2pm.

The latest plan contains proposals for reducing the height of bunds – earth works to shield development construction – because of the likely harm to Green Belt land.

READ AGAIN: Quarry plans at Clifton Hampden move closer to reality

The height of the bunds is about two to three storeys high but residents say the new plans have failed to mitigate the strength of wide-spread opposition to the quarry.

Opponents include MPs, county and district councillors, parish councils, environmental groups and surrounding villages.

Spearheading the campaign is Bachport, the Burcot and Clifton Hampden Protection of the River Thames.

Bachport spokesman Giles Baxter said: “Councillors made the right decision when they rejected the first application in 2017, and nothing has changed which would give them reason to change their minds.

“The new proposals still require huge bunds to cut out noise, dust and visual pollution and will destroy the openness and tranquillity of the Green Belt.

“There are no very special circumstances which justify such inappropriate development in this location at this time - Oxfordshire has more than 20 years supply of sand and gravel to cater for development.”

A report to councillors describes the application as ‘resubmission’ and points out there have been numerous objections from local councils, groups and 300 residents who wrote letters.

Councillors are being asked to consider if the application ‘overcomes their previous concerns’.

If not they are being advised to refuse the application for a number of different reasons, including additional vehicle movements leading to ‘severe highways impacts’ and the development prejudicing a new link road and Thames crossing along one of the routes in the emerging South Oxfordshire Plan 2033.

Bachport said the proposed reduction in extra lorry movements from 100 to about 90 did not address the problem that an already overloaded road infrastructure in this part of Oxfordshire cannot support the extra vehicles.

Hills Quarry Products group director Peter Andrew said: "We have worked through all the concerns raised in connection with the application and believe that our proposals are robust. "Fullamoor can deliver the much needed supply of minerals with minimal environmental impact."

He added: "“Our proposal for Fullamoor quarry provides South Oxfordshire with local aggregates for use in local development– its location means it can deliver cost savings for these projects and significantly reduce the environmental impact of transporting material by road.”