PROTESTERS fighting to stop a quarry being opened on their south Warwickshire doorstep are taking their fight to Oxford.
Villagers from Barford will be demonstrating next week outside St John’s College, which owns the land at Wasperton earmarked for the sand and gravel quarry.
St John’s is one of the wealthiest colleges in the country with assets of £450 million, and the campaigners are hoping college chiefs will reconsider their decision.
The campaigners fear the 220 acre quarry could have severe health consequences, particularly for pupils at the nearby Barford St Peter’s Junior School and also the village’s elderly residents.
Local GP Dr Malcolm Eykyn, who has been rearing cattle near the proposed site for more 40 years, said there was a real danger from the dust clouds.
He said: “Dust from the quarry will contain silica, which can be extremely harmful to children, the elderly and those with chest conditions.
“In fact, silicosis can be fatal. In the United States and Canada there is legislation governing how near such a quarry can be to residential areas, stipulating distances far longer than this quarry will be from the village.
“The prevailing wind will carry the dust right over the village and I am especially concerned for the children – aged between five and 11 – at St Peter’s.”
Residents are also concerned about increased traffic. It is estimated that 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.
All local parish councils are against the plan, including Norton Lindsey, Moreton Morrell, Hampton Lucy and Charlecote.
Warwickshire County Council is currently drawing up a 15 year plan on where minerals sites should be located in the county.