FOR the last five years Barford Residents have been campaigning hard against the Warwick County Council Mineral Plan to open a large sand and gravel quarry on the edge of the village.
If the quarry goes ahead it will expose 1,500 villagers and 200 primary and nursery school children at the village school to the real risk of inhalation of toxic fine particulate dust with consequent permanent damage to their lungs. It will also permanently destroy the existing high-quality agricultural land, destroy ancient hedgerows, and scar the landscape.
A Government Inspector will hear the argument from both sides of the debate at an inspection to be held on 20 & 21 October at 10am. The debate will be held virtually online due to COVID-19. As the Inspectors Office can record the number of people watching, the villagers hope as many people as possible will listen to the inspection. The Inspector will also be considering the merits of the other five proposed sites and then later make his judgment. Those that wish to observe the hearing will need to click on the link to the dedicated Examination website which can be found at https://warwickshire-consult.objective.co.uk/portal/warwickshire_minerals_plan_examination_website
The strength of feeling by Barford Residents was epitomised after the last Consultation when 880 residents responded. The second largest number of responses to another site in the County was 41. The local MP for Warwick and Leamington, Matt Western, has supported the Barford residents’ campaign for over a year, securing a debate in Parliament and presenting a national petition urging the Government to step in and halt the proposals.
Mr Western said “For me, the proposed quarry has wide-reaching negative implications for public health and environmental protections. The quarry near Barford and Wasperton is the only site in the minerals plan in such close proximity to a residential area, and it simply isn’t needed. The basis for which the site was proposed was predicated on overinflated figures for housing demand. I’ve submitted my objections to the County Council’s plan and will be speaking at the hearing, to do all I can to halt this quarry from going ahead.”
Malcolm Eykyn, one of the committee members said “We have worked tirelessly for the last 5 years raising awareness about the proposed quarry threat as well as raising substantial funds to help fight our cause. We sincerely hope that the Inspector listens to our concerns and removes the site from their plan which will otherwise permanently scar this “Barford Valley” and risk permanent scarring of residents lungs”.
Back in March the villagers raised £15,000 in less than two weeks to raise vital funds to provide professional advice to prepare the best case to take to the Inspector.
Oxford University’s wealthiest college St. John’s owns the land near Barford and Wasperton. The college, which has assets of over £650 million, has requested that Warwickshire County Council include it in their minerals land allocation plan which will allow a developer to extract vast quantities of sand and gravel from this 220-acre site which borders Barford.
If the quarry goes ahead it will see 60 lorries a day (120 lorry movements) exiting off and trying to pull across and onto the A429 for over 15 years transporting minerals along the A429 and onto the Longbridge roundabout. This will greatly impact on dirt, noise, vibration, safety and traffic congestion. Slow water-spraying lorries will also block the road which is already over congested and it is likely the lorries will use the Wellesbourne roundabout as a turning point for the M40.
For more information please visit http://www.barfordresidents.co.uk/latest-stop-the-quarry-updates/