Oxfordshire gravel extraction cut by a third

Campaigners have said the amount of sand and gravel Oxfordshire County Council wants to extract should be cut by a third.

Helen Marshall from the Campaign to Protect Rural England said the targets need to be more "realistic".

But a county council spokesman said it was obligated by government to provide an annual level of extraction.

He added the 1.26 million tonnes in its draft strategy was much lower than the figure proposed by government.

The council says its plan will mean considerably less mineral working in Oxfordshire up to 2030.

Poor mineral quality

Six locations where gravel extraction is already taking place will continue to be used but an area in Cholsey will "come on line" in eight years' time when the Sutton Courtenay site is expected to run out of sand and gravel.

Cholsey Parish councillors said they were unhappy with the proposals.

Chairman, Mark Gray, said: "One of the contentions we make in the report that we've just produced for the county council is that the material isn't actually there.

"The quality of the gravel that's available there is actually very poor."

The final strategy will go forward for independent examination by a planning inspector next year.

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