Council chiefs agree to consider controversial quarry plans - The Leamington Observer

Council chiefs agree to consider controversial quarry plans

COUNCIL chiefs have agreed to consider controversial plans for a sand and gravel quarry in south Warwickshire.

Smiths Concrete has confirmed Warwickshire County Council has validated its planning application for a quarry at Wasperton Fields. WCC is running a public consultation on the proposals until February 2.

Residents on the proposed quarry’s doortsep in Barford have been campaigning for more than six years against the plans which are included in WCC’s Mineral Plan, which identifies areas of the county where significant mineral resources can be found.

Campaigners have long argued there could be severe health consequences – particularly for children and elderly residents – if the 220 acre site becomes a quarry, as well as the destruction of agricultural land and ancient hedgerows. Campaigners have also voiced concerns about increased traffic.

But Smith Concrete have always disputed the claims.

Ray Chambers, Smiths Concrete general manager, said: “We are confident that we have developed robust proposals for a much-needed sand and gravel quarry. Our planning application details the extensive mitigation measures that will be put in place to limit visual impact and protect the environment. It also sets out how the phased restoration programme means that much of the site will remain agriculturally productive over the anticipated 15 years of operation, with a measurable biodiversity uplift during and post-extraction.

“We know that there are a few members of the community who remain entrenched in their views about the scheme, no matter how hard we have tried to advise that their vociferous opposition is based on incorrect or out of date information.

“Many of our employees, customers and suppliers are based in the local area and rely on Smiths to provide them with an income or the materials required to operate their own businesses. Without these secure supplies our customers will have to seek sand and gravel from further afield, including from outside the county – adding to costs, traffic and transport related emissions.”

Malcolm Eykyn, from the Barford Residents Association Sand and Gravel Committee, responded by saying there were almost 10,000 people living locally who would be directly impacted.

He added: “It would be larger than the village of Barford and local residents have legitimate concerns regarding the impact of traffic (a slow lorry entering or leaving the A429 every 3 minutes), pollution, noise and loss of productive farmland.

“The community will make their voices heard through the consultation period and we have already identified shortcomings and inconsistencies in the application.”

The full planning documents can be viewed on WCC’s website.


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