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Land not sand at Pinewoods

Thursday, 15 November 2012 08:58

Sandpit in Oxfordshire Sandpit in Oxfordshire Photo: © David Luther Thomas/ Wikimedia Commons

Hanson plc has been wanting to extract sand from a site in the Vale of the White Horse for years. The 69-acre site of agricultural land west of Pinewoods hamlet extends north from the A420 almost to the Longworth to Hinton Waldrist village road.

Fierce local opposition forced the company to rethink its plans to extract almost 900,000 tonnes of sand over a period of about 15 years.

Local people said their quality of life would be significantly damaged, that there would be dust pollution to local commercial horticulture, and significant traffic hazards at the junction of Pinewoods Road and the A420.

CPRE emphasised that the extraction would cause permanent damage and would be an inappropriate industrial intrusion into a overwhelmingly rural area. The Council’s own figures for minerals extraction suggest that there are adequate reserves of sand to be quarried from existing permissions until 2023, so any new development was entirely unnecessary.

Happily, in April 2012, the application was turned down by OCC's Planning Committee. Hanson's had six months to appeal but did not, so now local residents can breathe a huge sigh of relief. Another small corner of Oxfordshire remains as farmland.

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