SOUTHERN Oxfordshire will bear the brunt of future quarrying for minerals to use in local construction projects.

A review of the amount of gravel, sand, crushed stone and other so-called aggregates needed for construction work across the county was approved by Oxfordshire County Council’s cabinet last Tuesday.

The local aggregate assessment is carried out each year by OCC to examine the demand for the different materials, and where the local supply is coming from.

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Cabinet member for the environment, Yvonne Constance, told her fellow council leaders that in the future, mineral extraction in Oxfordshire would be focused on the south of the county.

Herald Series:

Yvonne Constance

During the meeting she said 86 per cent of future mineral extraction would come from southern Oxfordshire, whereas 14 per cent would come from northern Oxfordshire.

This, she said, was to redress the imbalance which had been seen in the past, where the north of Oxfordshire had been quarried more extensively than the south.

Speaking after the meeting, she said: “Gravel extraction is not welcome in any area, and the north has borne the brunt for past decade.”

In the local aggregate assessment agreed by the council, Susan Halliwell, the council’s director for planning and place, said the current rate of sharp sand and gravel extraction is considered to be enough for 2019, but the amount of soft sand and crushed rock being dug out of the ground needs to be increased for the next year.

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Over the period between 2014 and 2030 however, the report said there is a need for new sources of all of the minerals in Oxfordshire.

This includes 3.637 million tonnes of sand and gravel, 0.641 million tonnes of soft sand and 1.978 million tonnes of crushed rock.

The report said: “We will therefore need to identify sites for sharp sand and gravel, soft sand and crushed rock to meet the mineral requirements over the plan period.”

Though the amounts of each mineral have now been agreed, the locations where these will be dug from are not yet decided.

A Minerals and Waste Local Plan is currently being put together to identify sites where these materials can be dug out of the ground in Oxfordshire.

This is currently open to suggestions for locations of new quarries.

Earlier this year, the proposed site of a new quarry near Abingdon was refused permission by the county council after a large number of objections from local residents.

The application to extract millions of tonnes of sand, gravel and clay at Fullamoor Plantation in Clifton Hampden was formally opposed by 330 people.

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Residents opposed to the Fullamoor plan outside county hall earlier this year.

Hills Quarry Products had wanted to use the land over 12-and-a-half years before filling in some of the craters created by the vast extractions to create new lakes.

County councillors had rejected opening a new quarry there in 2017 but officers said it should have been allowed at the time.

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Hills altered its plans and said the 2019 application would have had less of an impact on residents and the area.

But many residents and councillors disagreed.

The Fullamoor Quarry website is still live, and describes the plans for to transform the farmland into an industrial site.

It can be found at

Aggregates are the most-mined materials in the world and are used in the construction of roads and railways, as well as other building projects.