Possible new gravel pit
This development has been put on hold by OCC after it was found that the estimated gravel on the site was significantly less than previously calculated making it uneconomic to proceed. Instead, alternative sites are being investigated. This is obviously welcome news for all those who appreciate the tranquillity of the site and were keen to avoid detrimental heavy goods vehicles adding to the local traffic problems but it may mean other communities and another piece of rural Oxfordshire elsewhere may be threatened by the OCC Minerals Policy (which in turn is required by central government for infrastructure development within the county and its surroundings).
However, at present, the Nuneham Courtenay site still remains OCC’s preferred site and if no overall alternative site is found, it may still be developed for gravel extraction as one of two sites. Questions are being asked as to why a site in South Oxfordshire should be chosen rather than elsewhere in the county and the basis for why the county needs so much aggregate. This proposal is being firmly resisted by the Parish Councils of Nuneham Courtenay and Sandford-on-Thames but if it is reinstated, it will be subject to formal planning.
The latest threat to our local environment comes from Oxfordshire County Council's Minerals and Waste Local Plan.
The only new quarry site in South Oxfordshire to be proposed in this Plan is one in Nuneham Courtenay/Sandford border and alongside the east bank of an exceptionally peaceful stretch of the River Thames. It will damage the local flora and fauna and it is also in the Nuneham Park area, a Grade 1 listed building and park and with a Grade 1 listed view which this quarry will interrupt. There are major problems with the site itself – archaeological remains going back to Roman times and earlier, ancient burial sites, and it is also very close to some houses in Lower Farm Road. Of course, the traffic generated is likely to be extremely disruptive to Sandford and Nuneham Courtenay village which is already subject to excessive traffic.
Minerals and Waste Local Plan site allocations consultation
The site allocation consultation closed in March 2020. Sandford-on-Thames PC submitted its response as below.