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19th Jan, 2022

Residents continue fight to stop quarry plans

VILLAGERS are not giving up the fight to stop a quarry appearing on their doorstep.

For the past six years, residents in and around Barford have been battling the Warwickshire County Council’s (WCC) Mineral Plan for a sand and gravel quarry at Wasperton.

The land – some of which is 300metres from homes – is owned by St John’s College in Oxford, which requested WCC include it in its minerals land allocation plan.

Campaign group The Sand and Gravel Committee fear 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 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.

After years of delays and revisions, the plan was scrutinised by a Government Inspector who then told WCC to revise its plan on several major points citing lack of evidence and rigour.

A spokeswoman for WCC said the consultation – whose deadline is up on January 7 – was for the authority to propose modifications to the Minerals Plan, which has already been through a number of consultations since 2015.

She added: “This is the last stage of the plan prior to the adoption of the plan.

“All comments received will be forwarded to the Planning Inspector who will consider the modifications and associated comments and make his final recommendations.”

But campaigners are preparing to raise further doubts on the evidence for a quarry and the proposed site.

And they are aiming to raise £10,000 in six weeks to fund consultants to further scrutinise the plan in the hope of getting it withdrawn.

Committee members Malcolm Eykyn and Andrew Steel said: “We have worked tirelessly for the last six years raising awareness about the proposed quarry threat as well as raising substantial funds to help fight our cause.

“This is our last chance to challenge the plan – to leave it is to surrender at the final hurdle. We need to fight again and fight to succeed in ‘downing the plan’.”

Warwick and Leamington MP Matt Western has already 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.

Campaigners are holding a meeting on Thursday (December 2) in Barford at St Peter’s School Hall, starting at 7.30pm.

Visit www.barfordresidents.co.uk for more information.

Visit warwickshire-consult.objective.co.uk/portal/warwickshire_minerals_plan_examination_website to comment on the consultation.

 

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