PLANS for a quarry the size of 165 football pitches between Didcot and Abingdon has been submitted to Oxfordshire County Council.

About 2.5m tonnes of sand and gravel would be extracted over 10 years from 104-hectare Fullamoor Quarry bordering the River Thames, if permission is granted.

But four parish councils have now joined forces with campaign group, Burcot And Clifton Hampden for the Protection Of the River Thames (BACHPORT), to fight the application.

The 800-strong group said its major concerns include flooding, desecrating the Oxford Green belt, and long-term disruption to the area.

Chairman Ian Mason said: "People are not going to like having the quarry here because it is going to have an impact on the local community in a very significant way.

"It is going to be the size of 165 football pitches and the only way to get out of the site is to go through Clifton Hampden which goes right past a school entrance.

"The existing quarries in Oxfordshire can supply 18 years worth of gravel but people want to push creating a quarry to make money from it."

Clifton Hampden and Burcot Parish Council chairman Chris Neill said the community will fight the application "as hard as we can".

He said: "The biggest concern is traffic and transport: the major access point to and from the quarry is through the village.

"Although the county council designated it as a lorry route, we are going to be getting 120 traffic movements every day from this quarry."

Swindon-based Hill Quarry Products, reduced the scope of its ambition after its initial quarry plans prompted mass protests from villagers in the area in 2014.

The size of the quarry has been reduced from 160 to 104 hectares; the extracted tonnage reduced from five million to 2.5m and the lifespan of the quarry reduced from 25 years to ten.

The land would be quarried in nine phases before it is landscaped with a wildlife lake, sailing lake, and small car park once the quarry’s life expires.

Peter Andrew, group director at Hills Quarry Products, said: "The submission of our planning application follows 18 months of public consultation which included a public exhibition and numerous meetings with residents.

"As a result of the feedback received, we significantly reduced our plans in relation to the volumes of material we hope to extract and the time we will take to work on site."

The quarry would lie between Clifton Hampden, Long Wittenham and Appleford, with an entrance road joining the A415 Abingdon Road opposite Culham Science Park.

The sand and gravel would be used as construction material in South Oxfordshire for developments including an expansion of Culham Science Park, and housing and infrastructure in and around Didcot.

Residents are invited to attend Bachport's public meeting on Wednesday, April 20, at 7pm at Clifton Hampden village hall to discuss the application.

The full planning application is available on the Oxfordshire County Council website using reference number MW.0039/16.

The county's public consultation on the plans runs until Friday, May 13.