CEMEX UK proposes to extract some 1.2 million tonnes from the site over a four year period with restoration of the entire site over a further two years. The sand and gravel extracted from the site will go into the construction of local homes, roads, schools, hospital and general construction.
The site has been allocated as a preferred area by Surrey County Council in the Surrey Minerals Plan 2011. This means that the council has looked at areas within the county that can provide us with the sand, gravel and aggregates that is needed by the community for development.
Surrey alone uses approximately 1 million tonnes of aggregates per annum. Sand and gravel from quarries in this area has gone into some vital local construction projects including King George VI reservoir, Ashford Water Treatment works, Terminal 5 Heathrow Airport and the M25 widening scheme.
At Watersplash Farm, it is estimated that 300,000 tonnes of processed aggregates will be produced per annum, which will involved on average 125 lorry movements per day.
It is proposed that, as well as excavating the land, there will be a temporary access road from Gaston Bridge Road, via a new spur off the existing roundabout. All traffic will enter and exit via this point and a main haul road will be constructed across the site.
Within the site a low level mobile processing plant will be erected to wash and grade the sand and gravel and a small bridge across the River Ash close to the plant to allow vehicles to move about the site.
The proposed hours of operation are 07.00-19.00 Monday to Friday and 08.00-13.00 on Saturdays. There will be no workings on Sundays and Bank Holidays.
We are mindful of the impact that such operations has on the land and the communities and endeavour to minimise this impact, working with the regulatory bodies, community groups and local authorities.
Restoration - Any land that is quarried is only ever borrowed - the minerals are extracted and the land restored back to nature. This often gives us an opportunity to provide perhaps, a nature reserve, leisure or community facilities. But it is a great opportunity to invest in a more biodiverse environment.
It is intended that Watersplash Farm will be returned to agricultural use with the return of the high grade soils that are stripped off prior to excavation. A nature conservation area will be created involving water meadows and reed-beds. There will be additional trees planted and recreation of a meander in the river, in line with historic records. For the community, there will also be greater access to the River Ash and the footpath will be reinstated and improved.