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The Problem

Q and As


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Questions and Answers

Following the two Residents' Public Meetings in May 2004, the OUTRAGE committee was reconstituted to protect our village and landscape by fighting the proposed application.

Here are some questions that we have raised, together with answers and comments from various authorities and from Hanson at the Information Day they held in Northmoor Village Hall on July 12th 2005:

Q ††††††† At the end of the 1980s, ARC (now Hanson) applied for planning permission to dig gravel at Stonehenge Farm. Did Oxfordshire County Council grant planning permission 'in principle'?
A †††††††† No (source: OCC Planning Department)

Q Does Hanson have to submit a new planning application?
A Yes, the old application from the '80s 'is no longer acceptable as a basis for consideration of sand and gravel extraction from this site' (source: OCC Planning Department)

Q When will Hanson submit its application to dig at Stonehenge Farm?
A 'Third quarter of the year' (source: letter from OCC Planning Department to David Cameron MP)

Q Given that OCC's Development Plan has identified the Stanton Harcourt area for gravel extraction and, within it, Stonehenge Farm as a possible extraction site, on what grounds would the County refuse consent?
A If the application does not demonstrate that it meets 'the environmental protection policies of the development plan' (source: OCC Planning Department)

Q What are these 'environmental policies'?
A The County Council says it will apply the following criteria (among others):
that there is 'protection of local residential, landscape and natural amenities';
that 'satisfactory access can be provided onto roads which can safely accommodate the proposed traffic without material harm to the environment';
that 'water supplies and resources are protected and pollution avoided' (source: these and other environmental criteria are set out in the Minerals and Waste Local Plan 1996, Chapter 4)

Q What does the applicant have to do to meet these criteria?
A For a site of this size, the Council requires the applicant to submit the following (among other documents):
an environmental statement and environmental assessment which is 'a systematic evaluation of the likely environmental effects of a development, together with an assessment of how adverse effects might be mitigated';
a description of existing site conditions including an archaeological assessment;
a landscape survey and hydrological and hydrogeological surveys where the site is in the floodplain (Stonehenge Farm is in the floodplain);
full transport information including traffic generation and proposed lorry routes (source: Minerals and Waste Local Plan 1996, Chapter 4)

Q Has Hanson completed these assessments and surveys?
A No (source: Hanson Information Day, July 12th 2005)

Q Some areas around Northmoor have been scheduled by English Heritage. They cannot be dug without the consent of the Secretary of State. Do any of these areas come within the proposed extraction site?
A Yes, approx 60% of the site is scheduled (source: see map on notice board in Northmoor Village Hall)

Q Has Hanson applied to the Secretary of State for Scheduled Ancient Monument planning consent?
A No (source: English Heritage, August)

Q Gravel would be removed from the site by conveyor belt. Would the belt be screened visually and acoustically?
A No (source: Hanson, Information Day, July 12th 2005)

Q How much traffic out of Linch Hill would be generated by gravel digging at Stonehenge Farm?
A Over 10 years, an estimated 90 lorry movements per day, assuming use of 20 tonne lorries (source: OCC Planning Department)

Q At their Information Day on July 12th, Hansonís proposed restoration plan included reed beds in some of the pits. This would involve transporting inert waste to the Stonehenge site. How much traffic would this entail?
A The proposed reed beds require 460,000 cubic metres of inert waste. Over 10 years this means an estimated 27 additional lorry movements per day to bring the inert waste into the site, assuming 20 tonne lorries are used (source: Hanson, Information Day, July 12th)

Q Will some of these lorries be routed along the A415 and over Newbridge?
A Yes. Oxfordshire County Council says it would consider it hard to justify an outright ban on lorries using this route (source: OCC Planning Department)