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Gravel on Our Doorstep 4 Apr 2014 OCC’s draft plans for dealing with minerals and waste up to 2030 are open for consultation.

OCC’s draft plans for dealing with minerals and waste up to 2030 are open for consultation until 7 April. The Parish Council response is linked below.

PUBLIC MEETING: on Friday 28 March Peter Day from OCC Planning provided a synopsis of the new draft policy in Eynsham Village Hall, then answered points of clarification in the presence of over 100 people, including residents from other villages. The meeting was chaired by Gordon Beach of Eynsham Parish Council, who also read out a letter from local MP David Cameron. His words of appreciation for Fred Wright were widely endorsed.

LOCAL IMPACT: County Cllr Charles Mathew explains the impact for West Oxfordshire - read the background.

The most important policy differences to the previous two withdrawn drafts are that:

  • Sharp sand and gravel will be dug closest to where it will be used and will therefore reflect the volumes needed north of the river Thames (Cherwell, West Oxfordshire and north Oxford) and south (Vale of White Horse and South Oxfordshire). That is estimated in the document as broadly equal.
  • The annual production target for Oxfordshire will be the ten year rolling average- currently that will be 811,600 tonnes and will vary every year. As the landbank (the extant gravel in the permissions granted) is required to be seven years, the effect of this reduction is significant over 15 years- currently the landbank is some 7.2 million tonnes (8.8 years).

In summary, though local deposits are acknowledged, West Oxfordshire is to relinquish its historic role as Oxfordshire’s major gravel producer while South Oxfordshire undertakes significant new operations to bring the average to 50:50.

The full document is available on the OCC website and in Eynsham Library. Comments (via the response form) should be addressed to mineralsandwasteplanconsultation@oxfordshire.gov.uk. Deadline for your response is 7 April.

Following this consultation, the Plan, adjusted by feedback, will be subject to Examination in Public by a Government Inspector and is due, if approved, to take effect by the end of 2015.

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