TWICE the amount of lorries as originally planned will be allowed to enter and exit a southern Oxfordshire quarry’s new concrete plant, despite concerns about safety for nearby villagers.

Grundon, the company in charge of Faringdon Quarry on Fernham Road, will be allowed to make a total of 44 trips to and from a new concrete batching plant on the industrial site.

But residents in the area are worried the extra vehicles will cause noise and disruption on local roads, as well as making it more dangerous.

The quarrying firm has originally asked for a total of 22 trips to and from the quarry in a planning application for the concrete batching plant approved by Oxfordshire County Council last September.

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But now, the company has said this was a mistake, as it was under the impression the 22 trips agreed would allow that number of lorries to come in and out throughout a single day, totalling 44 trips.

Oxfordshire County Council’s planning and regulation agreed Grundon would be allowed to make 44 trips a day at its meeting on Monday, but not before a discussion of road safety and whether the company had a business case for doubling the amount of journeys to the concrete plant.

Speaking at the meeting to appeal against Grundon’s application, Len Yarnwood, a nearby resident said he thought the application made a mockery of the planning system.

Mr Yarnwood said: “We are impacting the needs of many people in the community – and the environment – for the financial gain of one company.”

He added that he understood the business had to put its profit margin first, but said the ‘payload’ of modern concrete haulage vehicles meant they were very large and would have a huge impact on people wanting to use Fernham Road or the nearby A420.

Judith Heathcote, county councillor for Faringdon also spoke against the application, and said it would lead to ‘larger and heavier and therefore potentially slower HGVs on the road network.’

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Planning committee member John Sanders said he had been the quarry for a site visit ahead of the meeting.

He asked if some signs could be put up a long the road to make sure the extra lorries obeyed a part of the condition which said they could only turn to the left when leaving the quarry, and only turn right onto the A420 afterwards.

Mr Sanders said: “Looking to the right there is a very good view of the road there, but looking to the left the road turns very quickly into a bend which means you cannot see oncoming traffic; so if you were to turn right on to that road, the traffic coming from the left would be almost upon you.”

The quarry’s entrance on Fernham Road leads onto a 60 mph stretch of highway, which then meets the A420 a short distance to the north.

Both are busy stretches of road, but council staff at the meeting said they were no more dangerous than other parts of the road network, with only four crashes recorded in the near area in recent years.

During the discussion, a council staff member said there was no overall limit on the number of vehicles entering a leaving the site for quarrying work.

Councillor Damian Haywood questioned whether applying a limit to the vehicles visiting the site’s cement batching plant would have much of an effect on overall traffic.

A concrete batching plant is a set of equipment used to make concrete.

Farringdon Quarry was once known as Wicklesham Quarry, but was renamed after being extended.