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Gravel Extraction Threat to Radley and Nuneham Courtenay Lifted

Cabinet decision removes Radley from areas under consideration for extraction under new minerals strategy


Oxfordshire County Council Cabinet, at its meeting on Wednesday 16th February, agreed to the recommendation by the Minerals Strategy Working Group to remove the Radley and Nuneham Courtenay area from the list of areas to be considered for future gravel extraction by the ongoing consultation about the new Minerals strategy for Oxfordshire. The reason given for this is that the sites in Radley and Nuneham Courtenay are “unlikely to be deliverable”.

Under the emerging strategy, which is currently favouring focussing on existing areas of extraction, there had been a serious threat of new gravel quarries in Radley within the next couple of decades, in the area to the north of the Lower Radley settlement (SG41) and on the far side of the river in Nuneham Courtenay (SG42). This threat has now been lifted.

Wednesday’s decision, having survived a scrutiny call-in (see below) means that sand and gravel mining in these areas during the next two decades is now very unlikely. Moreover, if the ROMP application to extract further gravel in South Radley does not proceed further and the prevailing permission lapses in a years time, this will finally end over 60 years of gravel mining in Radley…

… for now. The gravel in Lower Radley remains in the ground and, as gravel reserves elsewhere in the County are used up, its value can only increase, until, at some future time, that value may be sufficient to overcome any deliverability issues. While the immediate threat has receded, a long term threat, beyond 2030, therefore remains.

[update 27/02/2011, 04/03/2011]

The Cabinet decision has been challenged by a group of councillors who have succeeded in calling in the decision for review by the County Council Growth & Infrastructure Scrutiny Committee. This means that there is a possibility that the decision could be overturned.  The notice of the Call In was issued on 24th February and a special meeting of the Scrutiny Committee will be held on 9th March 2011 to scrutinise the decision.


[update 10/03/2011]
The Growth & Infrastructure Scrutiny Committee considered the Cabinet decision at a special meeting yesterday and decided not to refer it back. The decision therefore stands.
[update 15/09/2011]

Public Consultation Opens


The Minerals Plan public consultation has opened and runs until 31 October 2011. If you wish to comment on the plan, please visit


and make your views known. Radley is still in the frame for future gravel extraction, if not in the short term, then in the longer term.


Related Links [updated 15/09/2011]

Oxfordshire County Council Minerals Plan Consultation 2011

Growth & Infrastructure Scrutiny Committee, Agenda and Minutes of meeting, 9th March 2011

Herald 23 February 2011

Oxford Mail 23 February 2011

Oxfordshire County Council Cabinet Meeting 16 February 2011

Oxfordshire County Council Minerals & Waste Development Framework

Oxfordshire County Council Minerals & Waste Policy

Oxfordshire County Council Minerals & Waste Core Strategy

Oxfordshire County Council, Minutes of Cabinet Meeting 19 Oct 2010

Report to Oxfordshire County Council Growth & Infrastructure Scrutiny Committee, 6 October 2010 by Minerals & Waste Development Framework Working Group on the Preferred Minerals Strategy

Radley Parish Council Response

Abingdon Herald 27 October 2010

Oxford Times 27 October 2010





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