AN application for a new quarry to extract sand and gravel from an area near Wootton is being prepared for submission to the Isle of Wight Council.

The application by Wight Building Materials, formerly Bardon Vectis, is for extraction in managed phases, from 12 hectares of agricultural land at Palmers Farm.

The business says over a ten year period the site will be extracted and progressively restored.

The plan is to supply essential construction materials to the local building trade and safeguard scores of Island jobs.

They say the new site is vital to the future of indigenous Island sand and gravel supplies and without it, imports of sand and gravel will be required.

It is also essential to the future of Wight Building Materials and its near 40-strong workforce.

It is anticipated that the business's existing permitted reserves of sand and gravel will have been extracted by 2023.

The site will be typically worked by just two vehicles during daylight hours only and not at weekends or bank holidays.

There will be no processing of materials on site and instead this will be done at the company’s established facility at St George’s Down.

However, there will be up to 25 loads taken from the site daily via an improved access off Brocks Copse Road.

A comprehensive traffic management plan to ensure impacts are minimised will accompany the application, with a commitment that no quarry vehicles will use Palmers Road.

Wight Building Materials' plan, depending on successful determination, is to start quarrying in 2023 following the implementation of measures to reduce visual impact, minimise noise and to provide alternative habitat for wildlife.

In advance of the application, Wight Building Materials has held briefing meetings with Wootton residents and will continue to liaise with neighbouring Isle of Wight Council ward members and other elected councillors.

“This is an important project not just for the future of Wight Building Materials but for the wider local economy and we are very keen to bring people with us,” said general manager Steve Burton.

“As a business we try to do things the right way and we are committed to applying the highest operational standards to this project as we do with our others.

“This new quarry is critical to the continued production of construction materials at St George’s Down.

"Aggregates are the lifeblood of the business and sourcing sustainable, Island material reduces the need both for aggregates to be imported from the mainland and dredged from the sea.

“There are limited reserves of sand and gravel on the Island and this is one of the largest deposits still available for extraction. We are committed to do so responsibly, working with the local community.”

Steve said comprehensive species surveys have already been undertaken and the application will include an agreed programme to compensate for any habitat lost, with enhanced neighbouring habitats.