You may have seen reports that the landowner of a site adjoining the River Thames, next to the by-pass bridge, is proposing a gravel pit the size of 25 football pitches (to be converted into a marina once extraction has finished).
CAGE recently joined with many other campaign groups in the county to object to the County Council’s redrafted plans for more gravel pits. It did so because it demonstrated that the council’s plans were based on flawed arguments: the government recommends using a 10-year average of past sales to calculate future requirements and on this basis there is no need for new pits in the county. The county council’s draft plan still has to go before a government inspector.
The “scoping” application made by the owner of the land adjoining the Thames is premature: it should be rejected until the county council’s plans have been passed by the government inspector. If the inspector finds that there is no need for new pits, then that will be the end of the matter. If the landowner wishes to put in an application for a marina (on land that floods annually) then that application should go to South Oxfordshire District Council to be judged on its merits and not be used as bait for a gravel pit application before OCC’s Minerals & Waste Plan has been approved.