AN ACTION group has been set up to fight plans to fill in Woodeaton Quarry using thousands of lorryloads of waste.

Quarry owner McKenna Plant Hire wants to use the abandoned quarry to dump 650,000 tonnes of soil and clay from building sites around the county.

But residents of the Barton estate in Oxford and nearby villages fear it will blight their lives for a decade, as an estimated 30 to 50 lorries a day trundle past their homes along what they say is a dangerous country road.

Opponents questioned Michael McKenna about his firm’s plans at on Monday, and will now set out conditions they want if Oxfordshire County Council planners grant permission later this year.

Under McKenna’s proposals, the abandoned quarry would slowly be restored either for agricultural use or as parkland, while protecting the crumbling cliff faces which are designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) because of fossils unearthed there.

Lorries are likely to drive through Barton, along Bayswater Road and down the winding B4027 to reach the quarry.

Mr McKenna said: “We do not want to quarry; we want to fill it.

“But if we cannot fill it in, we would have to do something with it and the only thing we could do is to quarry it.

“We would still have to fill it one day and that would just create more problems.”

He added: “From our point of view, the best for everybody would be to fill it in and then it is finished.”

The firm is expected to submit a planning application this month, after which opponents will have 21 days to register objections.

A new action group committee, including councillors representing both Barton and the Oxfordshire villages, has been formed to draw up objections and a list of demands from the developer if it goes ahead.

Spokesman Ginette Camps-Walsh, who lives near Beckley, said: “There are plenty of other sites for dumping waste.

“There is a lot of opposition and we are definitely going to fight it.

“If we don’t stop it altogether, we will try to minimise the inconvenience and safety fears.”

Mrs Camps-Walsh said the lorry traffic would affect people along the route to the quarry, while Woodeaton residents would be affected by dust and noise.

She added: “The Elsfield junction is really dangerous. One lady told me she hears so many squealing brakes she is really worried about it and obviously if you come up against a fully-laden lorry, you do not stand a chance.”

Barton city councillor Van Coulter claimed that elderly residents’ lives would be ruined and school children would be put at risk by the increase in traffic.

He said: “There are already concerns about safety on Bayswater Road, which is why the speed bumps were put in.

“To me, the best thing would be to avoid the issue and stop the heavy goods vehicles using that route altogether.”