FAQs

FAQs

Click the questions below to get the answer to some of the most frequently questions about the proposed Fullamoor Quarry.

Click here to download the FAQs as a PDF.

How will your proposals affect the traffic in the area?
Answer
The traffic assessment we have undertaken found the level of traffic associated to our proposals to be insignificant with no perceptible increase in queuing or delay on the Abingdon Road.

Hills propose a suitable ‘routeing’ for vehicles with the planning application. The proposed routes will avoid unsuitable roads such as Clifton Hampden bridge and Culham bridge . Driver disciplinary procedures operate where routeing agreements are broken.

The proposed levels of traffic from the development average less than 10 movements per hour. Hills uses a GPS and transport logistic system to ensure that vehicles avoid busy traffic times or periods of congestion. The system allows continuous monitoring of traffic conditions such that if any accidents or road works arise the site traffic can be suitably planned to avoid such incidents.

HGVs will access the site from a newly dedicated access which will connect the land to Abingdon Road and will be constructed to full highway standards.

Is there potential for increased flooding?
Answer
No, in fact one of the benefits of our proposals is that the quarrying and final two lakes to be created will provide improved flood alleviation.
Will the quarry be an ‘eyesore’ on the landscape?
Answer
The location of the plant site has been chosen to minimise its visual impact taking advantage of existing woodland areas which will be retained as well as creating screening bunds. Further areas of existing vegetation will be retained helping to screen operations and the progressive phased working of the site and restoration programme will keep ‘open areas’ of the site to a minimum. Further bunds (mounds) will also help to hide the main quarrying activity from view and with sensitive planting they will blend into the surrounding landscape.
Will this quarry create greater levels of noise and dust?
Answer
Careful phasing coupled with sensitive landscaping and highest operating standards and practices will minimise any acoustic or dust impacts of the quarry.

We have taken sound readings in the local area that show that generally the background noise levels are higher than the expected noise of the machinery. In some locations the background noise is lower and we are looking at ways to mitigate against site noise such as using conveyors rather than trucks and locating equipment in the quarry void created whilst excavating the site area. We use a loading shovel to dig the sand and gravel – there will be no blasting on this site. Planning Permission will include noise limits and Hills will undertake monitoring to ensure these are met.

The quarry operations have been designed to prevent dust arising as far as possible and by trying to keep vehicle movements to a minimum which is the biggest generator of dust. To help this, the sand and gravel will be transported across the site by conveyors rather than trucks. In the plant area we will keep roadways clean and in when conditions require it we sometimes use water sprays. The surrounding vegetation, additional landscape planting and bunding will further help reduce the dust.

Will the value of my property be affected by your plans?
Answer
Our proposals have been designed to minimise impact on residents as far as possible and the creation of a new landscape affording recreational and biodiversity opportunity should be perceived as beneficial to local area. The effect of planning permission on the value of properties is not a consideration in the process of determining any planning application.
What impact will there be on users of local facilities – shop, Post Office, campsite, pubs?
Answer
We do not envisage that our proposals will have any negative impact on users of local facilities and in our experience there has not been any negative impact on facilities in the areas where we operate other quarry sites.

Our proposal provides up to 15 new local jobs and will also provide work for other associated businesses.

What impact will the quarry have on public rights of way and the Thames Path?
Answer
The Thames Path lies just outside the site. Walkers and ramblers will be able to access and walk along the Thames Path as normal while we are quarrying on site.

The footpath crossing the site will be diverted for safety reasons. The diversion will ensure that the footpath can always be kept open and it will be securely fenced from operational areas of the quarry. Additional footpaths will be added during the restoration phases.

What impact will the quarry have on river users – anglers, canoeists, swimmers, boaters, holiday-makers?
Answer
During the working life of the quarry the users of the river will be unlikely to have views into the site as their field of vision is obscured by the river bank due to the relative low level of the river to the land profile.

Once the site is fully restored, the aim is to provide an area complementing the environment of the River Thames, providing new footpath routes and allowing access to two new lakes for quiet leisure uses such as fishing and sailing.

Will wildlife, ecology and nature be impacted?
Answer
Our restoration proposals include sensitive landscaping that will enhance the biodiversity in the area by creating new habitats in an area that is of intensive agricultural use and provides limited biodiversity interest. Quarry working practices are designed to avoid impacts to wildlife, for example soil stripping or removal of vegetation at appropriate times of the year. The proposed final restoration will include new areas of low land meadow, deciduous woodland and reed marsh progressing to wet woodland, all of which will create wildlife corridors that link to surrounding habitats. We are keen to work with local environmental groups to ensure that we can maximise the environmental benefits of the restoration.
What about existing archaeology on the site?
Answer
We have conducted extensive field investigations of the archaeology survey of the site already. This includes a geophysical survey of the whole site and further trial trenching with over 200 exploratory trenches dug.

The findings of the extensive field investigations of the archaeology survey will be included in the Environmental Statement that will accompany our planning application. We have taken account of the Scheduled Monument Round Barrow Cemetery at Fullamoor Plantation and adjusted our working plan to ensure it is not disturbed.

We will work with Thames Valley Archaeological Services, who will conduct archaeological investigations in each bit of the site to be quarried before we extract any material from that area. We hope to hold ‘public dig days’ when members of the public will be welcome to visit the archaeological investigations undertaken.

We would like to put up an information board as part of the restoration works which would explain the archaeological background to the area.

We listened to your concerns

We took on board feedback that many local stakeholders and organisations
gave during our consultation and substantially altered our proposal
to address concerns raised. This is what we changed:

Your concerns Our actions
Extent of the site
  • Reduced the site from 160 hectares to 104 hectares.
  • Tonnage reduced from 5 million tonnes to 2.5 million tonnes.
  • Time on site has been reduced from 25 years to 10 years.
  • Extraction now further away from properties.
Impact on traffic
  • Reduced number of vehicle movements by no longer importing materials for restoration and reduced level of mineral extraction.
  • Traffic routeing agreement ensures bridges at Clifton Hampden and Culham are avoided.
Archaeology
  • Site design amended to protect the Scheduled Monument at Fullamoor Plantation.
Flood risk
  • Our proposals improve the flood risk mitigation in the area.
Waste
  • The site would be restored using only onsite materials so no ‘waste’ would be brought to the site.
Noise, dust and visual
  • Extraction now further away from properties.
  • Proposed to screen plant with grassed mounds.
  • Use of low level plant.
  • Dust suppression systems and strict internal speed limit controls reduce dust.
Quarry name
  • We chose the name Fullamoor Quarry as it reflects the geographic location of the site rather than focussed on a village or town.
After use
  • Quieter recreational use of lakes such as fishing and non-motorised water sports.