Cherwell District Council vote to reject controversial 24hr Tarmac extension

Tarmac, Banbury.
Tarmac, Banbury.

The proposed expansion and extended working hours of the Banbury based Tarmac Concrete Plant was rejected by Cherwell District Council’s planning committee last night as opposition for the plan grows.

Residents and town, district and county councillor Hannah Banfield had already raised concerns last month, as reported by the BG, that the plans to extend the plant, just off Hennef Way, would lead to additional congestion and an increase in noise and air pollution.

These exact concerns were raised by councillors during yesterday’s CDC planning committee meeting.

Two planning applications were to be discussed; the first about a possible extension, operational for five years, on land adjacent to Tarmac’s current site between the railway line and Grimsbury reservoir. The second to remove working conditions on the site to allow 24hr operation.

The plans were submitted to the planning committee by Oxfordshire County Council seeking their comments as part of a consultation. OCC will discuss the plans in full in January.

Planning officer Caroline Ford said: “It’s recommended that CDC object to this proposal. The site is considered to be an important part of the green infrastructure in Banbury. This is part of the Banbury town master plan.
“In addition it has a number of constraints, it is sat in a flood plain and there are ecological records as well.”

Cllr Andrew Beere proposed the motion to object which was seconded by Cllr Surinder Dhesi.

Cllr Beere said: “As far as I can tell there is at least 400 houses that will be effected by this, possibly more. Lots of people in Grimsbury are concerned about this.”

Cllr Cassi Perry said: “Hennef Way is one of three areas in the county that is breaching air particulate levels at the moment. I know the county and ourselves are putting considerable public resources into trying to tackle that.

“So the idea of increasing heavy industrial use right in the target zone we are spending money in to reduce pollution levels in would seem to be insane to the average member of public.”

Cllr George Reynolds added: “I would have concern about 24hr working if it meant lorries would trundle through Wardington at all hours of the day.

“Wardington isn’t the simplest of villages, it is on a slope and if they meet one another going the other way there would be a lot of grunting and groaning and changing of gears, so I would have concerns about 24hr working.”

The vote to object to the planned extension passed.

Although inextricably linked the plans to remove restrictions on working hours at the site were briefly discussed separately with the committee again voting to object.