REACTION: Campaigners and company putting in plans for the quarry near Barford react to the adoption of the mineral plan

Campaigners have been fighting plans for the quarry site for more than six years

Smiths sand and gravel operations at Wolston Fields, which is also in Warwickshire. Photo by Smith's Concrete
Smiths sand and gravel operations at Wolston Fields, which is also in Warwickshire. Photo by Smith's Concrete

Campaigners and a company seeking to create a quarry near Barford have reacted to the news about Warwickshire County Council adopting its mineral plan.

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Warwickshire County Council adopts its new mineral plan - and it includes a cont...

On Tuesday (July 19) the council adopted its new minerals local plan – four years after it was due to be in place.

The plan includes the controversial site at Wasperton Farm near Barford, which has been fiercely campaigned against by residents and Warwick and Leamington MP Matt Western.

Malcolm Eykyn, one of the committee members against the quarry, has responded to the quarry being approved.

He said: “The 2000 residents of Barford, Sherborne and Wasperton have been fighting this campaign for the last seven years and news of Warwickshire County Council voting to adopt this vast quarry outside our back door yesterday has merely hardened our resolve to continue to find legal means to obstruct it at each and every stage of the planning process.

"Even the Inspector has not identified that there is a local need for this site.

“The authorities we are battling with still do not understand the gravity of the risk of damage and disruption due to dusty, noisy heavy lorries and mining machinery this would impose on the health of our residents over many years.

“This proposed quarry site is presently high quality agricultural land growing two salad crops a year.

"We need this fertile soil to help feed us at a time when we face a food shortage, the like of which we have not seen since the Second World War, triggered by the war in Ukraine.

"As we well know from other used quarry sites around the country the quarried farm land never recovers to what it was before.

“We have just been informed that the existing Dunton quarry near Curdworth in the north of the county was given planning permission to produce recycled sand and gravel three months ago.

"This will generate the same tonnage per annum as our proposed site giving further proof of the unjustified need next to our community.”

However, the news of the adopted plan was welcomed by Smith’s Concrete, who are seeking to create the quarry.

Ray Chambers, general manager at Smiths Concrete, said: “Our proposals for a new sand and gravel quarry at Wasperton Farm would provide around a third of Warwickshire's needs for the next 10 plus years.

"So, we’re heartened now councillors have accepted the recommendation made by both council officers and the inspector to include the site in the county’s confirmed Minerals Plan.

“Every county must secure its own sources of aggregate for use in building and maintaining homes, schools and hospitals, as well as for use in constructing the infrastructure needed for our low carbon future.

"With supplies in Warwickshire becoming increasingly strained, the alternative to identifying local quarries would be bringing in supplies adding to costs, HGV traffic and transport-related emissions.

“Warwickshire County Council’s determination of its Minerals Plan is a significant step forward and Smiths is now focusing on finalising our detailed plans for Wasperton Farm – assured that the important role it could play in securing the county’s sand and gravel needs is firmly acknowledged.”