A DEVELOPER is considering its options and may kick start an inquiry after its plans for a giant new quarry were refused by Oxfordshire County Council.

Residents of Clifton Hampden celebrated on Monday when the council’s planning committee threw out Hills Quarry Products’ proposed scheme to excavate 2.5 million tonnes of sand and gravel over 10 years from the Fullamoor Quarry site on the Thames.

Board members for the developers are understood to be meeting later this week to discuss what to do next and decide whether to appeal to the government’s planning inspector to hold a public inquiry into the decision.

Monique Hayes, spokeswoman for Hills Quarry Products, said: “We are extremely disappointed by the planning committee’s decision to refuse planning permission for Fullamoor Quarry.

“Our application was robust and had addressed all relevant concerns raised by consultees.

“We believe the construction materials contained within Fullamoor Quarry to be essential for future local development and will now take time to consider the situation before making a decision on the way forward.”

More than 100 objectors packed into the meeting and broke in to loud cheers when the 12 councillors decided to reject the quarry by 11 votes with one abstention.

Hills had made a last-ditch attempt to save the project after the county’s highways department raised concerns about road safety and air pollution.

The developer agreed not to run its lorries during the morning and evening rush hours which satisfied the chief engineer Geoffrey Arnold who then changed his advice and recommended the project be approved.

However, councillors ignored this advice and decided that the potential risk of more traffic and pollution was enough to stop the huge new site, equivalent to 165 football pitches, from going ahead.

Concerns were also raised about building on green belt land and that the quarry may hinder the development of more houses and roads.

Giles Baxter, a Clifton Hampden resident and spokesman for the Bachport group who have campaigned against the project for three years, said the group was ‘absolutely delighted’ at the outcome.

He pledged to ‘continue to stay engaged’ if Hills decides to take further action.