Villagers fighting quarry plans raise £15,000 in two weeks to pay for expert consultants - The Leamington Observer

Villagers fighting quarry plans raise £15,000 in two weeks to pay for expert consultants

Laura Kearns 10th Mar, 2020 Updated: 10th Mar, 2020   0

VILLAGERS fighting plans for a quarry on their doorstep have raised £15,000 to pay for expert consultants.

Campaigners against a proposed sand and gravel quarry raised the cash just two weeks after their fund-raising page was launched.

The land at Wasperton has been earmarked for development by Warwickshire County Council, much to the anger of residents who have been battling the proposal since 2015.

The campaigners will use the money to pay for consultants to put their case to the national Planning Inspector in June.

They fear there could be severe health consequences – particularly for pupils at the nearby Barford St Peter’s Junior School and also the village’s elderly residents – if the 220 acre site becomes a quarry.

Residents 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.

Committee member Malcolm Eykyn said “Two weeks ago we launched the campaign to pay for professional fees to acquire specialist advocacy leading up to and including the Inspection. This weekend we hit our target.

“There is no question this is testament to the strength of concern our residents have and their determination to stop this quarry which will otherwise permanently scar this ‘Barford Valley’ and risk permanent scarring of residents lungs”.

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

Warwick and Leamington MP Matt Western recently delivered a petition in parliament calling on the government to step in to get the quarry plans withdrawn.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.

He added other countries had a legally established minimum exclusion zone, such as Canada where the regulations stated a minimum of 600 metres.

Mr Western said: “Since I raised the issue in parliament last year, more pressure has been placed on the council to withdraw their plans for the quarry.

“It’s clear to me and residents that this quarry cannot go ahead. I will continue to advocate on behalf of Barford residents.”

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