PLANS to reopen a quarry near Oxford could have a “detrimental effect” on neighbours’ lives, it was feared last night.

Woodeaton Quarry could be used to dump 650,000 tonnes of soil and clay in a move which would bring hundreds of trucks rumbling through Barton every year.

McKenna Plant Hire, which owns the quarry, is set to submit the plans to Oxfordshire County Council within the next four months and has already held discussions with planners.

The Wheatley-based firm estimates 30 lorries a day will use the route for 10 years, but told the Oxford Mail it expects the impact on residents to be “minimal”.

Last year an idea was floated to turn the quarry into a country park and the site is already a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) because of fossils at the site.

Barton councillor Van Coulter said reopening the quarry would be ‘intolerable’ for Barton residents.

He said: “If we get that many vehicle movements for 10 years, I would not want to be living in Bayswater Road. It would have a detrimental effect on residents’ lives, and I sincerely hope it does not happen.”

Trucks would go along Bayswater Road in Barton, past Oxford Crematorium, and along the B4027 to reach Woodeaton.

McKenna Plant Hire said it was working with Natural England so its restoration plans would shore up crumbling cliff faces and protect it.

Director Michael McKenna said whether to allow the firm’s plans and the route to the quarry would rest with County Hall.

He said: “The residents want it back to agricultural use, the council want it back to park use, and I stand between all of that.

“The quarry has been left with 60ft drops and is not that safe. We are trying to get a project that will keep everybody happy.”

Mr McKenna added: “The traffic impact would be minimal compared to most Oxford roads.”

But Ginette Camps-Walsh, who lives on the B4027 at Beckley, said: “Along the route through Barton and the B4027, there are certainly issues of traffic and safety.

“There is a school in Barton, a nursery school on the way to Woodeaton at Elsfield, and at least two very dangerous turnings. If there is an accident on one of those with a lorry loaded with stone, you are going to come off very badly.”

Woodeaton Parish Council clerk Peter Hore said: “It will not be as bad as when it was a quarry, but we fear it will be noisy and dusty and last 10 years.

“We will not have the traffic through the village, but no doubt we will still hear the lorries.”

Only “inert waste materials” such as soil and clay dug up for foundations at building sites would be used to fill in the quarry.

There is planning permission to continue excavation until 2042, but McKenna said it would seek to remove this if its plans to restore the quarry were granted.

Planners have told McKenna there is merit in restoring the quarry, but think there is no need or sufficient justification for the quantity of waste proposed.

Earlier this month the Oxford Mail revealed how South Oxfordshire District Council earmarked a 2.2-hectare site at Bayswater Farm for housing development as Oxford City Council carried out a consultation on Barton West, which could see 1,200 homes built in the area.

County council spokesman Owen Morton said: “The county council’s discussions with the developer concerning Woodeaton Quarry are at pre-application stage.

“We encourage developers to enter into pre-application discussions and engage with the local community prior to the submission of planning applications.”He believed a full planning application would be submitted in September.

Oxfordshire County Council had not commented by the time the Oxford Mail went to press.