VILLAGERS fighting plans for a quarry on their doorstep are looking to raise £15,000 to pay for expert consultants.
Land at Wasperton has been earmarked by Warwickshire County Council as a possible sand and gravel quarry – much to the anger of residents who have been battling the proposal since 2015.
The campaigners have now launched a gofundme page – Stop the quarry near Barford – in a bid to pay for consultants to put their case to the national Planning Inspector. Around £1,000 has been donated to date.
They fear there could be severe health consequences – particularly for pupils at the nearby Barford St Peter’s Junior School and also the village’s elderly residents – if the 220 acre site becomes a quarry.
Residents are also concerned about increased traffic. It is estimated 60 lorries a day would travel to and from the quarry on the already busy A429, raising road safety fears over lorries pulling across and onto the Wellesbourne to Warwick road and eventually onto the Longbridge roundabout.
They have already protested outside the gates of St John’s College in Oxford which owns the land. But college chiefs said the majority of concerns were environmental and health and safety issues which were matters for the county council.
Fund-raiser organiser Charlotte Morgan said: “Our community is under threat from a massive sand and gravel quarry – over twice as big in area as Barford.
“If the quarry goes ahead, we will be breathing in toxic dust. 70 or more lorries per day will be going to and from the site.
“Our children are particularly vulnerable, as the school, nursery and playing fields are nearby. Air pollution from the quarry and the traffic may cause serious lung diseases in later life.
“The quarry will destroy productive farmland and ancient hedgerows. We don’t believe that the land could ever be restored back to its current quality.”
Earlier this month Warwick and Leamington MP Matt Western delivered a petition in parliament calling on the government to step in to get the quarry plans withdrawn.
Speaking in the House of Commons, he argued quarries sited close to towns and villages poses huge health risks from airborne dust.
He added other countries had a legally established minimum exclusion zone, such as Canada where the regulations stated a minimum of 600 metres.
Mr Western said: “Since I raised the issue in parliament last year, more pressure has been placed on the council to withdraw their plans for the quarry.
“It’s clear to me and residents that this quarry cannot go ahead. I will continue to advocate on behalf of Barford residents.”