WHITEHALL FARM, STROUDE ROAD, EGHAM

CEMEX has submitted a planning application (reference SCC2021/0023 and application number RUxxxxxx) supported by an environmental impact assessment to Surrey County Council.

The planning application is for “Extraction of sand and gravel from land at Whitehall Farm together with the erection of processing plant and associated mineral infrastructure, the provision of a new access from Stroude Road, restoration involving the importation of inert materials to agriculture, parkland, wet grassland, reedbeds, and new woodland on a site of approximately 38 ha, and the temporary stopping up of footpath 64, and permanent diversion of footpath 39.” at Whitehall Farm, Stroude Road, Egham Surrey TW20 9TP.

The site is located approximately one mile to the north of Virginia Water station and one mile to the south of Royal Holloway University. To the west, the site borders the railway line between Egham and Virginia Water stations, with the eastern most part of the site stretching to Black Lake Close on Stroude Road. The northern boundary is delineated by where Whitehall Lane meets Prune Hill.  The site is made up of agricultural land forming Whitehall Farm and Luddington Farm.

The proposal involves the extraction of up to 1 million tonnes of sand and gravel and restoring with inert materials over an 8 year period.

AN ALLOCATED MINERAL SITE - In 2011 Surrey County Council allocated the site known as Whitehall Farm as a Preferred Area for mineral extraction in the Surrey Minerals Local Plan; this site is referred to in the plan as Preferred Area E.

A number of mineral extraction sites have been allocated by Surrey County Council and we have now submitted a planning application in line with the site’s key development requirements. If approved by Surrey County Council’s Planning and Regulatory Committee, the operational site will contain a processing plant, where the sand and gravel materials will be extracted and processed.

Who Is CEMEX?

CEMEX is a leader in the building materials industry, providing high-quality products and a reliable service to both customers and the communities we work in. We manufacture and distribute cement, ready-mix concrete and aggregates worldwide, strategically positioned across the Americas, the Caribbean, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

CEMEX aims to serve the needs of our customers and create value for our stakeholders by becoming the most efficient and innovative building materials company. CEMEX couples financial achievements with a firm commitment to sustainable development. CEMEX currently operate in hundreds of locations across the UK, including in Datchet and Eversley, and we are committed to doing more.

WHY DO WE NEED TO EXTRACT RAW MATERIALS IN SURREY?

According to the UK Government’s own guidance, and as cited in Surrey County Council’s 2011 Mineral Plan, there is a need to maintain at least a seven-year supply of aggregate (sand and gravel) minerals. With the Government recently giving the green light to major infrastructure projects, and the continued need to build more homes, such materials are vital to our economy. The production and supply of aggregate minerals is monitored annually and currently the County Council is facing a significant shortfall in sand and gravel provision.  Minerals can only be worked where they are found and north west Surrey contains workable sands and gravels from the Thames Valley terraces.

WHAT IS CEMEX PROPOSING TO DO IN THE AREA?

Within the application CEMEX is proposing over a temporary period to extract up to 1 million tonnes of sands and gravels from the site in six phases over a total time of some 8 years.  Over this time the site will be progressively restored to agricultural land, with biodiversity enhancements and improved public access links.

WHAT ARE THE PROPOSED HOURS OF OPERATION?

The proposed hours of operations are:

  • 07.00 to 18.00 Monday to Friday
  • 07.00 to 13.00 Saturday
  • No Sunday or Bank or Public Holidays

WHY IS AN APPLICATION BEING SUBMITTED NOW?

CEMEX has been monitoring the progress of the Milton Park Farm, Egham, mineral planning application over the last two years - also an allocated mineral site to the north of Whitehall Farm.  As a decade has passed since this mineral application was submitted to Surrey County Council without any resolution being made, CEMEX now consider it appropriate to bring their proposals forward. 

CEMEX has been preparing a restoration led planning application for its Whitehall Farm site, that allows for the vital extraction of sand and gravel materials to take place, whilst at the same time being sensitive to the concerns of the local community and environment.

ARE THERE ANY BENEFITS TO THIS?

In addition to supporting the UK economy CEMEX has a track record of delivering local benefit to the environment and local community.  The supply of materials provides jobs in the wider community in construction and building and there are also opportunities for local jobs connected to the quarry site.  The site will be restored to its existing green belt agricultural grazing land use, but CEMEX will also provide a 10% net gain in biodiversity on site increasing provision of priority habitats.

WHAT WILL BE THE IMPACT ON THE LOCAL COMMUNITY AND ENVIRONMENT AND HOW WILL YOU ADDRESS THIS?

We recognise the impact that developments of this nature may cause, and we will always seek to minimise this as much as possible. The planning application CEMEX has submitted is supported by an Environmental Impact Assessment assessing a whole range of issues which the development could impacts upon such as noise, visual impact, heritage, flood risk, landscape, air quality, ecology, highway safety, traffic and nature conservation for example.  These assessments have influenced the design of the extraction on site and the way the site is operated and managed with measures built into the development and management of the scheme to minimise effects to acceptable levels both for the community and the environment.  For example, rather than opening up the entire site, mineral will be worked in phases and restored as operations progress.  There will also be stand-offs and screening from neighbouring residential properties to protect them from noise, dust and visual impacts.  And because we recognise that HGV movements will be a key concern for local residents on these roads, we are proposing a new access onto Stroude Road with HGV traffic following a specified route.

WILL THE PUBLIC FOOTPATHS BE MAINTAINED?

An existing Public Footpath, Egham 39, will be permanently diverted, and Footpath Egham 64 will be temporarily stopped up. A safe haul road crossing points will be constructed over Whitehall Lane for it to remain open. The stopped-up path will be reinstated as part of the restoration plans and a new permissive path provided.  The levels and surfaces of footpaths will be reviewed as the site is restored looking at improvements to drainage and surfacing to improve their use throughout the year.

WHERE WILL THE HGV MOVEMENTS BE?

It is envisaged that the combined aggregate and filling traffic generated by the operations at the site would average around 156 HGV movements (78 HGVs) per day. Combined operations would take place from year 2 through to year 5.  For year 1 HGV movements would be around 74 per day.

CEMEX could enter into a routing agreement to ensure that all HGVs do not travel south along Stroude Road to Virginia Water.  All HGVs would travel north along Stroude Road and New Wickham Lane and then go north or south along the B388.  From these routes HGVs could access the west London market or north west Surrey markets.  Any application will be supported by a Highway Safety and Transport Assessment to ensure that the roads have the capacity to support additional HGV traffic and that this access can be achieved safely.

The vehicles will not use minor roads, unless for a local delivery, with the majority of vehicles supplying mineral to the Company’s network of local concrete plants and inert recovery materials coming from local construction projects.

WHAT ARE THE TIMESCALES FOR THE PROJECT IF IT GOES AHEAD?

The planning application has been submitted early 2021.  It is expected that Surrey County Council will undertake statutory and public consultation on the application and then make a decision at planning committee.  If permitted the site will be fully restored within some 8 years. This includes one year of site set up, five years of mineral extraction and a further two years of completing restoration.

HAVE YOU SPOKEN TO THE LOCAL COMMUNITY?

CEMEX undertook pre-submission community engagement in the Autumn of 2021, with representatives of the local community around the site and due to COVID -19 and in line with Government guidance, held an online exhibition, the project team presented the proposals and residents were able to ask questions and provide feedback.

WHERE CAN I FIND THE APPLICATION DOCUMENTS?

The planning application documents can be viewed on the Surrey County Councils website.

The application documents and environmental statement are also available as pdfs below this pdf. 

The application is in 3 Volumes:

Volume 1 – Planning Statement and Application documents.

Volume 2 – the Environmental Statement in 2 parts:

Overarching Environment Statement (Volume 2-1) with Technical Appendices (Volume 2-2)

Volume 3 - the Environmental Statement Non-Technical Summary

To contact CEMEX about the planning application please use the email address planninggb@cemex.com