Plans for the quarry near Clifton Hampden are not now expected to be considered by Oxfordshire County Council’s planning committee until the New Year.
County Councillor Lynda Atkins said: “The 21st January meeting is the earliest target date the planning committee is hoping to achieve – but it could be even later. There are planning problems surrounding the proposal for a new river crossing linking Didcot with the Culham Science Centre.”
The latest idea is for a new river crossing linking Didcot with the Culham Science Centre along a route west of the Didcot-Oxford railway line. Previous proposals included a route east of the railway through the proposed quarry site. This route put forward by South Oxfordshire District Council was in the council’s draft Local Plan last year but has not been included in the latest county consultation.
The proposed road is part of a package of major infrastructure improvements put forward by the county council to help ease traffic congestion in the Didcot area as more homes are scheduled to be built over the next 15 years.
The main quarry opposition group Bachport (Burcot & Clifton Hampden for the Protection of the River Thames) is unhappy with another delay by the county in discussing the issue. In November last year the county’s planning committee rejected the plans by Hills Quarry Products.
Bachport spokesman Giles Baxter said: “Why the county council is dragging its feet and postponing a decision on the quarry defeats me. The explanation that planners need yet more time to examine the proposed new river crossing is baffling because the planning implications have been known for at least a year.
“The quarry company has proposed changes in an effort to mitigate objections but nothing has altered. Our objections that a quarry would ruin the green belt and countryside, cause major traffic problems with associated pollution have not changed. The county council should debate the issue soon and reiterate its decision taken last year to reject the quarry.”