Quarry Debate Continues

Campaigners against the proposed quarry near Clifton Hampden are concerned about the county council’s Cabinet recent decision that future new mineral sources to meet housing demand should be concentrated in South Oxfordshire.

The Cabinet agreed with the latest forecast for the amount of sand, gravel, crushed stone and other aggregates needed for new homes and roads in the county over the next fifteen years.  The council’s minerals officers say that more than 1m tonnes are needed until 2034.

To meet demand, new sand and gravel quarries will be needed in South Oxfordshire says the Cabinet to “re-dress the imbalance” of current mineral working between the north and south.

Officers propose 86% of new mineral reserves should be sought from the south of the county and only 14% from the north.  However, the exact locations of future quarries won’t be decided until the New Year following consultations.

Twice over the last two years, the county council’s planning committee has overwhelmingly rejected proposals for the quarry near Clifton Hampden.  The site lies within the Oxford Green Belt and adjacent to the Thames National Trail.  Hills Quarry Products, the company behind the proposals, has until the end of January to decide whether to appeal.

The main opposition group. Bachport, says the proposed quarry would have a huge impact on the local landscape, requiring more than a kilometre of soil bunds taller than the height two storey houses, causing demonstrable harm to the openness of the Green Belt.

Bachport says a forecast 50% higher than current growth is unsustainable for the environment and more new quarries are not needed.

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