Residents invited to public meeting about controversial plans for a sand and gravel quarry near Barford

Over the last seven years residents living in and around Barford have been campaigning against plans the quarry

Aerial shot of the site near Barford which could be turned into a sand and gravel quarry. Photo supplied by Smiths Concrete
Aerial shot of the site near Barford which could be turned into a sand and gravel quarry. Photo supplied by Smiths Concrete

Residents in and around Barford are being invited to attend to public meeting about plans for a new sand and gravel quarry near the village.

Smiths Concrete is holding the event for its proposal at Wasperton Farm, which is south of Barford, to provide feedback ahead of Smiths submitting a planning application to Warwickshire County Council later this summer.

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The site is part of Warwickshire County Council’s Mineral Plan.

Over the last seven years residents living in and around Barford have been campaigning against Warwickshire County Council’s Mineral Plan for the quarry. Warwick and Leamington MP Matt Western has also shown his support for the campaigners.

Warwickshire County Council’s plans were submitted to the Planning Inspectorate for a review in October 2020, where the council were told to make various amendments.

In November 2021, the council launched a new consultation on their Minerals Plan.

The event will take place between 1pm at 9pm on Wednesday May 25 at Barford Youth and Community Centre (The Scout Hut, Wasperton Lane, Barford CV35 8DT).

Smiths Concrete has two existing Warwickshire sites - Wolston Fields Farm and Bubbenhall, which the company says are almost exhausted and cannot be extended.

According to Smiths Concrete, the quarry at Wasperton Farm would secure 10 local jobs and the 89-hectare site would provide two million tonnes of aggregate over 10 to15 years.

Ray Chambers, Smiths Concrete general manager, said: “We have a long track record of being a good neighbour and working closely with the communities in which we operate.

"We are nothing like what some people would like to portray us as.

"It is a small scale sand and gravel quarry – there will be no drilling, no blasting, no deep hole, no mining-sized equipment – if anything it’s very agricultural in scale.

“The beauty of this location is that it is straight out onto the A429. We will be building a dedicated junction, that we will agree on with Warwickshire County Council, that will go out onto the A429 to make sure we take the most direct route to our customers.

"We believe we will actually reduce the number of lorry miles because of the location of the site is in the middle of our operations.

“This is more like farming than mining with what we are going to do.

"The site itself is about 90 hectares and we will split it up into 12 zones. Farming won’t stop when we start and about 50 per cent of the site will continue farming.

"There will also be somethings that we do to protect the wildlife. We would thicken hedgerows at the start, create a bridleway around the site and towards the end of the site we would create a wetland.

“We would like to talk to people at the meeting. Please come and see us and let’s talk about reality – the reality of what we are proposing, the reality of any concerns – we are there to allay their concerns.

"We look forward to answering any questions local people may have on our proposals for Wasperton Farm and listening to feedback that can help us shape our final plans.”