Quarry Set Back

There’s been a set-back in the fight to stop a quarry from being developed on green belt land near Clifton Hampden. An inspector examining Oxfordshire County Council’s minerals and waste strategy for the next ten years has concluded that the overall target for minerals should not be reduced.

The opposition group Bachport – Burcot and Clifton Hampden for the Protection of the River Thames – has been fighting plans by Hills Quarry Products to extract sand and gravel from what’s been called Fullamoor quarry. At the public examination Oxage – Oxfordshire Against Gravel Extraction – spoke out against the county council’s plan to increase the amount of aggregates extracted from sites in the county.

Long Wittenham Parish Council is one of four parishes supporting the Bachport campaign. At the council’s October meeting the village’s county councillor Lynda Atkins said the inspector’s interim report’s conclusion was that the overall target for minerals should not be reduced.

She said: “I and opposition groups are very disappointed with the inspector’s conclusion. The implications of this decision are being worked through by the Oxage advisor and we plan to meet to discuss what happens next. I will be talking with campaigners and other county councillors to agree the best way forward to oppose this inappropriate application for Fullamoor quarry.”

The planning application for Fullamoor will not be heard by the county council until November 28 at the earliest and may not be considered until early in the new year.

Jaqui Mason from Bachport who attended the public examination hearing said: “Naturally we are disappointed at the inspector’s conclusions. We believe the county council’s policy fails in its principle task to balance the provision of mineral supplies with the protection of the Oxfordshire countryside.”

“The large increase in aggregates requirement outlined in the plan would necessitate new sites being identified and further loss of Oxfordshire countryside. A quarry and concrete processing plant proposed at Fullamoor would devastate a tranquil part of the Oxfordshire countryside bordering the Thames.”

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