RESIDENTS in Warwickshire have drawn a line in the sand over threats posed by a massive extraction of minerals on their doorsteps.
If given the go-ahead, they fear the scheme to quarry up to three million tonnes of sand and gravel will have a devastating impact on their lives and landscape.
Residents of Bourton on Dunsmore and Draycote believe their villages and the neighbouring area will be blighted for years to come.
Along with a hugely increased risk of flooding, they also say the local environment would be dealt a catastrophic blow. Particularly at risk of flooding is Draycote which lies 38 metres below the extraction site.
A protest campaign is underway and a households are being urged to contribute to a fighting fund to recruit the services of a minerals planning expert.
And campaigners are working alongside Bourton and Draycote parish council to have the 110-hectare site, identified as the number one option for mineral development by Warwickshire County Council for 2017-2032, removed from the county’s hit list of nine target sites.
Campaigners have adopted the slogan sing the slogan ‘Kill the quarry – not our villages’.
A website and Facebook page have already been set up and posters and leaflets printed.
The designated area, nearly half the size of the nearby Draycote Water reservoir and roughly equivalent to 110 international rugby pitches, straddles the B4453 ‘straight mile’ off the A45.
It is described as “a very large new site” in the county’s 130-page Minerals Plan Preferred Option and Policies document published last month.
In what is a tight timescale, a December 4 deadline has been imposed by Shire Hall for responses.
Coun Barbara Walker, chair of Bourton and Draycote parish council, said: “This is a major threat to our communities with potentially hugely damaging and harmful consequences to the environment and ecology, both locally and further afield, and possibly the health of residents from pollution, dust, noise and the huge increase in lorry traffic this is likely to generate.
“The county states there are no major settlements nearby. This may be so but, just because we are small in size and numbers, county councillors and officers should not be mistaken in thinking that this is an excuse for them to blight our homes and decimate our villages and rural way of life.
“We will be fighting this all the way.”
Visit www.killthequarry.com for further details.