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Sand quarry proposal must face greater scrutiny

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Developer told to complete an environmental impact assessment

A SAND quarry to be built on land near Hermitage will be subject to greater scrutiny, after a planner’s blunder saw the wrong land dimensions submitted.

Last month, Raymond Brown Aggregates submitted a screening and scoping request to West Berkshire Council to determine if a proposed quarry at Hermitage Farm on Acre Field – a site within the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – required an environmental impact assessment.

The application, which would replace the Copyhold sand quarry, stated incorrectly that the size of the development would be 24 hectares, just below the 25-hectare cut-off that triggers the need for an EIA automatically.

However, after council officers carried out their own measurements, they determined that the site was in fact 27.8 hectares.

As a result, the applicant will now have to provide the additional information on the environmental impact the proposal will have, particularly because of its location in the AONB.

The developer will need to complete a full environmental impact assessment in preparation for the quarry, which will yield around 35,000 tonnes of soft sand each year for the next 18 years.

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