Banners signal second chance to protest against Barford quarry - The Leamington Observer

Banners signal second chance to protest against Barford quarry

NEW banners along the A429 are alerting the public they have a second opportunity to object to the proposed huge sand and gravel quarry at Wasperton Farm near Barford.

Campaigners believe this second consultation period is likely to be towards the end of June with a limited timescale of just three weeks in which more objections to the scheme can be raised. Warwickshire County Council has yet to set a date.

Organised by the Barford Residents’ Association action group, the long-running battle to stop the quarry is probably about to enter its final phase before WCC’s planning committee sits to decide on the fate of the Smiths Concrete application to develop a 220-acre site for minerals extraction.

Campaigners have always maintained that this is not a done deal and this is borne out by the recent success of a very similar campaign at Hamble, Hampshire where the application was refused.

Smiths Concrete is now wholly owned by Germany-based Heidelberg, the largest concrete manufacturer in the world. The land earmarked for the proposed quarry is owned by St. John’s College, Oxford, one of the wealthiest colleges in the UK.

Action group member Dr. Malcolm Eykyn said: “The irony here is that if the planners grant permission for this quarry, St. John’s College, which is a registered charity, will be in direct conflict with its own published ethos of ‘environmental sustainability’.

“The stated criteria of a registered charity are encapsulated by the statement that the charity will provide more benefit than harm. St. John’s is clearly in flagrant disregard of that.”

Campaigners say the overwhelming negative impact on the environment will include damage to rich market gardening quality land, thereby compromising food security.

They also fear increased air pollution poses a serious danger to the health of 250 village infant and primary school pupils, as well as 2,000 residents living within 350 metres of the site.

Other threats will come daily from 200 extra HGVs and other excavation machinery all belching out diesel fumes on the already congested A429, and risks to endangered species of fauna and flora.

Further dangers highlighted include the loss of amenity value with noise pollution and ‘butchery’ of a landscape that is the gateway to the Cotswolds in the heart of Shakespeare’s country. The quarry will also destroy protected views of the local landscape which were recently agreed to be protected in the Local Neighbourhood Plan.

Dr Eykyn will be addressing an open meeting for residents and other interested parties at the Barford St. Peter’s C.E. Primary School school in Church Street at 7.30pm on Monday July 8.


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