COUNTY councillors were applauded by residents as they rejected an unpopular quarry project for the second time in as many years.

An application to extract millions of tonnes of sand, gravel and clay at Fullamoor Plantation in Clifton Hampden near Abingdon had been formally opposed by nearly 330 people.

Oxfordshire company Hills Quarry Products had wanted to use the land over 12-and-a-half years before filling in some of the craters created by the vast extractions to create new lakes.

County councillors last rejected opening a new quarry there in 2017 but officers said it should have been allowed at the time.

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Hills altered its plans and said its latest application would have had less of an impact on residents and the area.

But many residents and councillors disagreed.

Lorraine Lindsay-Gale, whose Berinsfield and Garsington division covers the site, said there would have been ‘considerable damage’ to the Green Belt had the proposal got the go-ahead.

While Lynda Atkins, who represents Wallingford, said residents in her division would have been badly affected by traffic caused by the quarry.

She said Hills’ attempts to change the proposal from the one rejected in 2017 amounted to a ‘complete fig leaf’ and urged for to it to be rejected again.

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Alan Pardoe, the company’s chairman, said it was ‘well-respected’ and employs about 700 people. He added it had helped with 350 community projects.

Councillors also heard the company used trucks which are deemed to be the most efficient possible and have the Euro 6 emissions rating.

The application had been submitted about a year ago and the councillors had been urged to make a decision – despite independent member Peter Handley pressing for a deferment.

Residents opposed to the application packed into a committee room at County Hall in Oxford yesterday, loudly applauding those who spoke against the proposal.

Councillor Bob Johnston, who represents the Kennington and Radley division, slammed some arguments in favour of the application as 'waffle' and proposed it should be rejected.

Officially, the committee turned the application down over worries about the impact on the Green Belt and the 'severe highways impact' it would have had on the area and others nearby.

It also said it worried about the impact the quarry would have had on the Grade II listed Fullamore Farmhouse.

The house 'probably originates' from the 17th century, according to Historic England. A major enlargement was built in 1769 and it also has a Victorian extension and other additions.

Another member of the committee, Richard Webber, said the area around the site is already subject to ‘complete gridlock’. The proposal would have only made that worse, he said.

The application to refuse planning permission was passed on the basis that no new conditions over the application are tabled before next Monday.