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August 21, 2010

Summer event details announced

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Full details have been anounced of this Sunday's event at lunchtime at Dunsden Lodge, Sonning Eye. Click on the picture for more details. The day is set fair and the gardens will be lovely. Bring your own picnic if you wish, enjoy the Pimms and nibbles and tea and cakes provided. There will be a treasure hunt and stalls to enjoy. You can read all about it in the attached poster (just click on the picture). We do hope you will support us on the day.

August 16, 2010

SEAG summer event

You are warmly invited to the Sonning Eye Action Group summer event at Dunsden Lodge, Sonning Eye, RG4 6TP from 12.30pm on Sunday 29 August. Bring a picnic if you wish and enjoy the beautiful gardens, and a chance to catch-up with (or meet for the first time!) your neighbours and friends.

There will be a drink and snack on arrival, treasure hunt for adults and children, raffle with fine prizes kindly donated by local businesses including the French Horn and the Shoulder of Mutton at Playhatch.

We will be fundraising for the group as it prepares for an imminent planning application from Lafarge for gravel extraction on land between Sonning Eye and Shiplake. Further details and a standing order form are on this site. Please complete the membership form today. Entrance on the day by donation/membership fee on the door. SEAG thanks Mr and Mrs Marks for making their garden available.

Further information from 969 2264. Please support us on the day.

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July 28, 2010

Lafarge exhibit their proposals

An exhibition last week publicised Lafarge's intentions to apply to extract 1.8 million tones of gravel from a 50 hectare site east of Spring Lane in Sonning Eye. Attendance was poor, partly because publicity was inadequate, partly because the exhibition was timed for the start of the school holidays, when many people are away.

A team of experts was on hand to answer questions on flooding, the proposals for landfill by 75 lorries a day, archaeology and restoration. A considerable amount of information was presented which it has been promised will soon be visible on a website. After the exhibition, Sonning Eye Action Group held a meeting at which it resolved to fight the proposals for the following reasons:

  • the site provides vital floodplain capacity for a large area, including densely populated Lower Caversham
  • a tiny rise in previous flood levels would flood many houses: current computer modelling of flood risk is neither reliable nor accurate
  • waste can never be absolutely guaranteed to be 'inert' – millions of tonnes of builders' waste will have unknown consequences for the local environment
  • no matter how ambitious the restoration proposals, once the original landscape is lost it is gone forever
  • noisy HGVs and overhead conveyor belts have no place in this beautiful riverside countryside close to the Thames Path and a Conservation Area

A report in the Henley Standard provides further details. SEAG will shortly be distributing a newsletter locally with further details and news of a special Summer Picnic at Dunsden Lodge, Sonning Eye from 12.30 on Sunday August 29. Make a note of the date now: treasure hunt, exciting prizes and a visit to attractive gardens all included.

January 31, 2010

Site map

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This plan from Oxfordshire County Council's site nomination document of April 2007 shows the areas under consideration for future gravel extraction. Click on the map for a larger view). The rubric states that the total area is 64 plus 111 hectares, with estimated total yields of 2 & 3.5 million tonnes.

October 09, 2009

A landscape under threat

Picture 4.pngMost of the dark green fields in this photograph have been earmarked as potentially useful for gravel extraction.

If Oxfordshire County Council accept the nomination of the site by Lafarge Aggregates and a subsequent planing application were to be passed, it will have a big effect on the community of Sonning Eye, already changed by over 60 years of gravel extraction to the west.

It would take at least 20 years to remove the aggregate. The holes would be filled with inert landfill material, to be delivered by lorries entering the site via the Sonning Eye mini-roundabout. Around 140 lorries a day would access the site.

A number of designated Ancient Monuments on the site are clearly visible as cropmarks and it is also evident how close the site is to the Thames path.

Find out more by following the links to the right.