Oxford

Ducklington's Gill Mill quarry expansion planned

Gill Mill quarry plant
Image caption The proposed extension would be on farmland to the north of the existing 20-year-old site

A sand and gravel quarry could be extended by 97 hectares (239 acres) if plans in Oxfordshire are approved.

Proposals for Gill Mill quarry at Ducklington, near Witney, have been submitted to Oxfordshire County Council by operators Smiths Bletchington.

If approved the quarry would release five million tonnes of new sand and gravel reserves.

The firm said the proposals would secure about 100 jobs, including 40 at the site, for the next 14 years.

'Locally sourced'

The proposed extension would be on land to the north of the existing 20-year-old site which is currently farmed.

Smiths Bletchington said the plans had been influenced by feedback and concerns which were raised during public consultation over the past two to three years.

These included the protection of the wildflower meadow at Ducklington Mead Site of Specific Scientific Interest (SSSI) and suggestions for the use of the site once mineral extraction has finished.

As a result the firm said the project's long-term plans included new countryside paths and bridleways, areas of habitat specifically designed for nature conservation and lakes for sailing and canoeing.

Martin Layer, the firm's planning and estates' manager, said: "We all help to create the demand for construction aggregate.

"The most sustainable way to provide them is from a local quarry that employs local people while also recycling locally sourced construction materials."

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