Noke Parish Meeting – response to Woodeaton Quarry application
Application number MW.0015/12
Noke Parish Meeting has considered the application and has the following
1. NPM has no objection to the application. The quarry is presently in a
2. The application, with the section 106 undertaking to no longer
implement the existing mineral permission, comprises a major change
from a position of very considerable uncertainty (highlighted by
inspectors reports in 1998 and 2003) over a very long period (to 2042
and beyond) to one of considerable certainty and control with a
reasonably short window of about 10 years – to 2022 or 2023.
3. The proposed restoration has significant benefits to:
a. landscape values (views from the boundaries of the quarry are
b. biodiversity (the proposed restoration scheme is exemplary in
adding an important degree of biodiversity, and protects the
c. education (with the famous fossil-bearing layers available for
d. safety (eradication some significant safety concerns in the
e. protection of the adjoining temple field from possible erosion.
The temple field is rich in archaeology, as shown by a
geophysical survey performed by Oxford Archaeotechnics in
2000. The temple field is also important in the history of
archaeology, as well as being a scheduled ancient monument.
4. The PM notes that the dust plan specifies that the applicants will “adopt
management systems that will respond effectively to complaints or in the
event that monitoring shows that controls are not effectively addressing
sources of dust”. This is to be welcomed, and provides a degree of
comfort that levels of dust and mud-affected roads will not be the
problem seen with previous activity at the quarry.
5. The PM notes that while the noise assessment is favourable, and that
mitigation proposals have been put in place for plant operating over
higher ground, no management system to respond effectively to
complaints or monitoring is in being, as is the case for dust. Noke PM
suggests that a noise management plan be agreed as a condition.
Effects on traffic
The largest problem arising from the application is that of traffic. This is a
more complicated issue, as responsibilities are divided, mainly between the
applicant and Oxfordshire Highways, but to some extent to Thames Valley
Police. While the applicant can take some mitigating actions, more
responsibility falls to OH and TVP.
The application envisages a daily average of 10 lorry movements into
and out of the north entrance of the quarry, complying with an
agreement made in 1989.
A worst-case scenario is envisaged as 50 lorry movements a day, five
times the average.
The hours of opening of the site would be 07:00 – 18:00 Monday to
Friday, and 07:00 – 13:00 on Saturday. The applicant made the point at
a public meeting in Noke that these hours applied to the site, and
vehicle movements would be unlikely before about 8:00 am (lorries are
not left loaded overnight), and would be completed well before the
end of the working day at the site.
The applicant has a core of employed drivers of long standing,
together with a small number of contracted drivers, also of long
The traffic analysis indicates that the average number of working day
movements (07:00 – 19:00) is 6,444. An additional 20 movements (10
lorries one journey in and one journey out) would make a small impact
(0.3%) and even the worst-case scenario would be only 1.6%.
However, the number of goods vehicles is much smaller, only about
5% of the total, with 07:00 – 19:00 averages of 290 movements. This
means that the proposed movements would increase heavy good
traffic by a much greater amount, with the average producing a 7%
increase and the worst-case scenario a 34% increase in heavy good
This definition included OGV1 and OGV2 (see below for definitions),
in effect any vehicle of over 3.5 tonnes with two or three axles. Few will
be lorries with 20-tonne loads. The impact will be even greater than the
The traffic report indicates that average speeds on the B4027 near the
northern entrance average 50 mph (the current speed limit). Around 1
in 7 vehicles travels at 55 mph or higher, and 1 in 30 or so in excess of
60 mph (with some extraordinarily high speeds in the early hours of
The B4027 between Islip and the Bayswater Road junction has a
number of overgrown hedges, which restrict vision considerably.
The B4027 is heavily used by cyclists, especially at weekends, and by
pedestrians who use it to join between footpaths. It is also occasionally
used by horse riders.
Several measures should be considered to mitigate potential problems.
A. Recognise that the applicant’s drivers might adopt a voluntary 40 mph
limit on the B4027. The applicant indicated that speeds higher than this
would be unusual given the nature of vehicle and road.
B. Recognise that improved sight lines at entrances are needed. This
includes better splay to the south from the haul road entrance on the
B4027, where sightlines are obscured by excess hedge growth beyond
the field boundary. Other entrances and junctions need sightlines
managed by limiting width and height of hedges or growth on the
road verge beyond property boundaries.
C. Implement significant removal of growth on the road verges. There are
many places where the hedge grows to the limit of the road, removing
any verge refuge for walkers or other non-vehicular use. For example,
the short section between the Prattle Lane junction with the B4027 at
the Woodeaton turn and the Noke junction has several sections where
walkers have nowhere to go when vehicles refuse to slow down. The
aim of the plan should be to maintain a 2-metre growth-free verge
where possible. This should be a matter discussed by the applicant
and Oxfordshire Highways, and could be a condition of any consent.
D. Oxfordshire Highways might wish to discuss with Thames Valley
Police the occasional use of mobile radar as a way of discouraging
excess speed on the B4027. This is done on the B4027 in the 30 mph
sections in Stanton St John and on the Bayswater Road. It is also
needed on the higher speed sections between Islip and the Beckley
E. A particular concern is traffic on Saturday mornings, when large
numbers of cyclists and leisure users frequent the B4027. Movements
in excess of the average would not be welcome. A condition should be
set limiting the number of vehicles movements to the site on
Saturdays to a maximum of perhaps 10 movements.
OGV1: includes all rigid vehicles over 3.5 tonnes gross vehicle weight with
two or three axles (it also includes larger ambulances, tractors - without
trailers, road rollers for tarmac pressing, box vans and similar large vans. A
two or three axle motor tractive unit without a trailer is also included.
OGV2: includes all rigid vehicles with four or more axles and all articulated
vehicles. Also included in this class are OGV1 goods vehicles towing a
caravan or trailer.