VILLAGERS fear opening a quarry on their doorstep could have fatal consequences.
Residents in Barford, Wasperton and Sherbourne have until December 12 to object to Warwickshire County Council over proposals for the 220 acre mineral quarry at Wasperton.
Barford GP Malcolm Eykyn said pollution killed 40,000 people a year in the UK and his main concern was for 170 young children at at Barford St Peter’s Junior School.
Dr Eykyn, who practices in Leamington and has been rearing cattle near the earmarked site for more 40 years, 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 170 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.
Dr Eykyn added: “There is also concern about the devastating effects and irreparable damage to the farmland, which has 400-year-old hedgerows and trees, together with listed farm buildings.
“At a time when the government is talking about the need for home production of food after Brexit, I find it ironic that a local government body is even considering tearing up this prime agricultural farmland on which vegetables and salad are being grown.
“There is a dramatic decline in demand for sand and gravel so it is hard to see how this quarry could be viable anyway.”
Villagers reject claims of nimbyism – not in my back yard – arguing of the six quarries being considered it is the only one with a large village and school nearby.
All local parish councils are against the plan, including Norton Lindsey, Moreton Morrell, Hampton Lucy and Charlecote.
The land is being sold by St John’s College, Oxford, one of the wealthiest colleges in the country with assets of £450 million, and objectors are hoping it will reconsider its decision.
Residents wanting to lodge objections can download the Minerals Plan Publication Form on the Barford Residents Association website www.barfordresidents.co.uk/minerals-section/