RESIDENTS fighting plans for a quarry in south Warwickshire have reacted angrily to moves to allay their fears.
It follows the distribution of a ‘response document’ by Smiths Concrete which is
looking to open a 220 acre sand and gravel quarry at Wasperton – something residents have been fighting against for six years.
Smiths Concrete general manager Ray Chambers said: “Warwickshire’s sand and gravel reserves are running out, but our proposals for a new quarry at Wasperton Farm would provide around a third of Warwickshire’s needs for the next ten plus years.
“Feedback received from the local community has helped shape our final plans, which we will be submitting to Warwickshire County Council soon.”
But the publication has only hardended the resolve of residents to stop it opening.
The anti-quarry campaign group The Sand and Gravel Committee say the latest document follows closely on the heels of an “expensive glossy brochure” produced by Smiths Concrete and delivered to households outlining their “flawed assertions, assumptions, and misinformation” in response to their own interpretation of villagers concerns at an open exhibition held in Barford in July.
Malcolm Eykyn, of the campaign group said: “We cannot lie down after six years of vigorous campaigning and let this quarry damage our lives. “Smith’s Concrete will profit from this scheme for years to come. They will protect their workers’ health to comply with HSE regulation while our unprotected residents will face risk to health and loss of amenity for much longer.
“This gross intrusion into our lives is an unjustified and unnecessary invasion into our community by a giant company.”
The proposals are contained in the Warwickshire County Council (WCC) Mineral Plan which identifies areas of the county where significant mineral resources can be found.
Campaigners fear there could be severe health consequences – particularly for children and elderly residents – if thesite becomes a quarry, as well as the destruction of agricultural land and ancient hedgerows.
They are also concerned about increased traffic. It is estimated 200 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.
The land is owned by the wealthy St John’s College in Oxford,
A college spokesman previosuly told the Observer It will be the responsibility of Warwickshire County Council and a potential new sand and gravel operator to address and answer environmental and health and safety concerns.