Anger over gravel fight delay

Witney Gazette: Agatha Christie Agatha Christie

A public examination of a plan to extract five million tonnes of gravel has been delayed until after the county council elections.

Residents in Wallingford and Cholsey are opposed to the plan saying it will harm the countryside and damage the tourist trade.

The county council’s cabinet agreed its minerals and waste plan in March last year.

Even though the council approved the minerals plan, the protest group CAGE (Communities Against Gravel Extraction) is continuing to fight the plan. It launched a £30,000 fundraising appeal to fight the proposal and is frustrated with the delays.

Henry Thornton, chairman of CAGE said: “One way or another it needs to be resolved.

“We were anticipating the inquiry for this to be in November and it got moved to February, then to May, which is pretty unsatisfactory.”

According to the waste plan, 1.2m tonnes a year could be dug in Oxfordshire, from the Lower Windrush Valley, Eynsham, Cassington, Yarnton, Sutton Courtenay and Caversham, with Cholsey replacing Sutton Courtenay for gravel extraction from 2020 for 25 years.

Protesters say the move will put off visitors to the area, including those fascinated by the area’s links with crime writer Agatha Christie, pictured, who lived in Winter-brook and is buried at St Mary’s in Cholsey.

Comments (3)

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6:59pm Fri 11 Jan 13

Myron Blatz says...

Time to kick out the County Councillors who agreed and voted for gravel and associated minerals extraction and eco-balance. This is very much akin to the rape and pillage of rainforests - only this time happening in our own County! There is also the issue of extraction affecting the future value on watertables, and a raft of other considerations. As for the gravel being important for road or home building? Location is a moot point, since as far as I can see there would appear to have been no clause to limit the use of excavated minerals (including gravel) for 'local use only' and that nor would any such caveat be attractive from a commercial standpoint. Nor should it be forgotten that like the County Council, it was the Tories who looted our publicly owned gas, water and elctricity utilities for the benefit of 'market forces' - though Labour subsequently failed to return utilities (or railways) to public ownership in its own 13-year reign of error.
Time to kick out the County Councillors who agreed and voted for gravel and associated minerals extraction and eco-balance. This is very much akin to the rape and pillage of rainforests - only this time happening in our own County! There is also the issue of extraction affecting the future value on watertables, and a raft of other considerations. As for the gravel being important for road or home building? Location is a moot point, since as far as I can see there would appear to have been no clause to limit the use of excavated minerals (including gravel) for 'local use only' and that nor would any such caveat be attractive from a commercial standpoint. Nor should it be forgotten that like the County Council, it was the Tories who looted our publicly owned gas, water and elctricity utilities for the benefit of 'market forces' - though Labour subsequently failed to return utilities (or railways) to public ownership in its own 13-year reign of error. Myron Blatz

9:21pm Fri 11 Jan 13

Reynaldo Throckmorton, Duke of Botley says...

"Protesters say the move will put off visitors to the area, including those fascinated by the area's links with crime writer Agatha Christie…" It will however attract thousands of visitors fascinated by gravel extraction, so, swings and roundabouts.
"Protesters say the move will put off visitors to the area, including those fascinated by the area's links with crime writer Agatha Christie…" It will however attract thousands of visitors fascinated by gravel extraction, so, swings and roundabouts. Reynaldo Throckmorton, Duke of Botley

11:05pm Fri 11 Jan 13

Myron Blatz says...

Indeed, Reynaldo. I myself, personally, am especially interested in the Quarryman D-7798 turbo-charged gravel seperator, which as most will know, is eco-friendly with its low-carbon footprint. The only slight downside for this 1,000 ton-per-hour excavator is that due to the noise it generates, it cannot operate within 10 miles of towns or villages - something which is also a common problem around election time with City and County council candidates.
Indeed, Reynaldo. I myself, personally, am especially interested in the Quarryman D-7798 turbo-charged gravel seperator, which as most will know, is eco-friendly with its low-carbon footprint. The only slight downside for this 1,000 ton-per-hour excavator is that due to the noise it generates, it cannot operate within 10 miles of towns or villages - something which is also a common problem around election time with City and County council candidates. Myron Blatz

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