Tuesday, 27 May 2008


The Planning & Regulation Committee of Oxfordshire County Council met on Monday 19th May to discuss the "Application for the Extraction of Sand and Gravel with Associated Processing Plant, Silt Ponds, Conveyors and Ancillary Works. Restoration to Wetland/Reedbed and Fishing. Extraction of Basal Clay to form Hydrological Seals and for the Purposes of Restoration on Site Stonehenge Farm, Northmoor - App No 07/0111/P/CM".

The agenda detailed that at this meeting there would be a report by the Head of Sustainable Development, Environment & Economy (Mr Chris Cousins) who recommended the application subject to certain conditions, including a routing agreement. The OCC Minerals Officer who presented this application was Mr John Duncalfe.

Just a few of the highlights of the application for those of us that live locally:

This is an application to extract 1.55 million tonnes of sand and gravel from a 31 hectare (77 acres) site. The total site area is 59 hectares (146 acres).

I have read that the extracted sand and gravel would be transported by conveyor for 2km (1.2 miles) to the existing Stanton Harcourt processing plant. During its journey the belt will pass over a motor mechanism at the junction with the village road, from where the gravel will fall down a drop-hopper into a tunnel dug under the road, emerging on the other side and continuing along over the fields up to Linch Hill. There will be 2 electricity sub-stations next to the village road to keep the conveyor going. After processing, the sand & gravel will be transported by lorry across Cow Lane, through the Dix Pit complex, left on to the B4449 towards Hardwick and right on to the A415 towards the A40. There will be an average of 40 lorries per day.

It is proposed that the extraction lasts 8 years. Phases 1, 3 & 5 will be worked wet and 2, 4 & 6 will be worked dry using an electric dewatering pump.

"Restoration" and site management will follow for a further 20 years. The "restoration" will be to wetland, reedbed and fishing [lakes].

The River Thames lies approx 400m to the south of the southern edge of the extraction area and the River Windrush is adjacent to the western boundary of extraction.

The conveyor route passes under the Standlake Road. It also crosses over a bridleway and public footpath (which will have to be diverted). The closest property, Pinnocks Farm, is only ca. 15m away.

There is a Scheduled Ancient Monument nearby and the conveyor belt crosses this area. It is an area of archaeological remains believed to be the remains of a Romano-British settlement with origins in the Iron Age.

Full details of the application can be found at:
Here you can also download a Location Plan and Annex 3

Oxfordshire County Council Consultation in 2007 can be found at:

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