On 14 December 2016, the Faringdon Neighbourhood Plan was formally made part of the Vale of White Horse Development Plan. This followed a referendum in which the official results show 90% of those in Faringdon were in favour of adopting the plan.
At the heart of the plan is a move to provide jobs for Faringdon, to allow the town to grow sustainably and thrive.
A key part of its implementation has been to propose that Wicklesham Quarry, located just south of the A420 near the Park Road junction, is protected as a new employment site, once it's been restored.
Excavation of minerals from the quarry is now complete and it is currently being restored to agriculture in line with the conditions of the planning consent.
But it is a place in which rare fossils have been found, making it of international importance to geologists and palaeontologists.
There’s also the question of whether public access should be allowed to the restored quarry, either for geologists or for those taking a walk in the countryside.
This may lead some to ask whether the site’s suitable to be safeguarded for employment use. But the right plan would boost, rather than threaten the quarry’s ecological and geological value.
This website has been put together by quarry owner, Tom Allen-Stevens, to explain some of the background and address some of the issues surrounding the quarry.