GOOD NEWS following the OCC Cabinet Meeting on 15th October 2019

PAGE has been campaigning since 2003 (16 years) and we are delighted to announce that the imminent threat of Gravel being extracted in the eight Parishes in South Oxfordshire of Benson, Berinsfield, Berrick Salome, Dorchester, Drayton St Leonard, Newington, Stadhampton and Warborough seems to have subsided.

Oxfordshire County Council officers submitted their recommendation to the Cabinet of Oxfordshire County Council which met on 15th October and accepted the recommendation. The full draft of the recommendation paper can be viewed here:

In summary, (in relation to sharp sand and gravel in southern Oxfordshire) the recommendation to Cabinet was that the site that should go forward for consultation as the preferred option for allocation in the Oxfordshire Minerals and Waste Local Plan Part 2: Sites Plan is the site at Nuneham Courtenay (SG42). This site alone would provide the unmet gravel and sharp sand need in the area until 2031. The consultation period will begin shortly with a view to the adoption of the site by November 2020.

A total of 4 shortlisted sites were deemed suitable:

  • The policy of prioritising extensions to existing quarries where environmentally acceptable, would have led to the allocation of the site at Sonning Eye SG11 & SG65 (0.34mt). However due to this site not becoming available until 2029, it is insufficient alone to provide the unmet need in the plan period (i.e. until 2031)
  • The site at Appleford SG62 (1.1mt), whilst a new quarry, is also insufficient either alone or in addition to Sonning Eye
  • Other than Nuneham Courtenay, the only other site considered suitable and sufficient to provide the required quantities in the period was the Drayton St Leonard & Berinsfield Site (SG9 & SG59) which holds 6mt. The recommendation to select Nuneham Courtenay instead of Drayton St Leonard & Berinsfield was on the grounds that the site at Nuneham Courtenay had ‘fewer constraints’.

The southern PAGE sites of Benson (SG 07) and Dorchester, Shillingford and Warborough (SG 13) were rejected in the preliminary round of site selection ahead of the detailed assessment which resulted in the recommendation of Nuneham Courtenay. This is very good news for Benson, Dorchester, Shillingford and Warborough as they are, for the foreseeable no longer under threat.

The threat to the Parishes in close proximity to the Drayton St Leonard & Berinsfield site has been clearly established in the longer term and there can be no room for complacency as any possible new major roads, conurbations or other developments might call for additional or relocated extractions.

The PAGE Group is extremely grateful for the support that has been received from all Parish Councils in the area over many years, without which the work could not have been done to highlight to OCC the issues relating to potential sites in the PAGE Parishes.

However, in view of the continued perceived threat, PAGE will continue to work closely with the Parish Council representatives concerned (Drayton St Leonard, Newington, Stadhampton and Berinsfield).

If you have any queries, please email our info@ email address

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