26th Oct, 2020

Crunch time approaches for Barford quarry dispute

Catherine Thompson 16th Oct, 2020 Updated: 16th Oct, 2020

A DISPUTE over a proposed quarry planned near Barford is expected to come to a head in an upcoming debate.

For the last five years Barford Residents have been campaigning against Warwickshire County Council plans to open a large sand and gravel quarry on land at Wasperton owned by St John’s College in Oxford.

And campaigners fear there could be severe health consequences – particularly for the village’s children and its elderly residents – if the 220 acre Wasperton site becomes a quarry, as well as the destruction of agricultural land and ancient hedgerows.

They also say lorries transporting minerals will cause dirt, noise, vibration, safety concerns and traffic congestion.

In March villagers raised £15,000 to fund professional advice to prepare their case for debate.

A government inspector will hear the argument from both sides during the virtual debate next week.

The last consultation on the plans garnered 880 responses, and a petition supported by Warwick and Leamington MP Matt Western was presented to Parliament.

Mr Western said: “For me, the proposed quarry has wide-reaching negative implications for public health and environmental protections. The quarry near Barford and Wasperton is the only site in the minerals plan in such close proximity to a residential area, and it simply isn’t needed. The basis for which the site was proposed was predicated on overinflated figures for housing demand. I’ve submitted my objections to the County Council’s plan and will be speaking at the hearing, to do all I can to halt this quarry from going ahead.”

Committee member Malcolm Eykyn added: “We have worked tirelessly for the last five years raising awareness about the proposed quarry threat as well as raising substantial funds to help fight our cause. We sincerely hope that the Inspector listens to our concerns and removes the site from their plan which will otherwise permanently scar this ‘Barford Valley’ and risk permanent scarring of residents lungs.”

St John’s College has been approached for comment.

The debate will be held on Tuesday and Wednesday (October 20 and 21) at 10am.

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