Warwickshire County Council adopts its new mineral plan - and it includes a controversial quarry site near Barford which has been fiercely opposed

Warwickshire County Council has adopted its new minerals local plan - four years after it was due to be in place.

The site where Smith’s Concrete has proposed to create a sand and gravel quarry at Wasperton Farm near Barford. Photo by Smith's Concrete
The site where Smith’s Concrete has proposed to create a sand and gravel quarry at Wasperton Farm near Barford. Photo by Smith's Concrete

But it failed to get the backing of opposition councillors or the Conservative member whose area covers the Wasperton quarry site which has prompted a campaign from nearby residents

The plan, which was due to run from 2018 to 2032, incorporates a strategy for supplying the minerals the county and others need to provide the infrastructure, buildings, energy and goods.

Read More

Read More
REACTION: Campaigners and company putting in plans for the quarry near Barford r...

Cllr Wallace Redmond (Con, Cubbington and Leek Wootton), the portfolio holder for transport and planning, explained the lengthy consultation process at the full council meeting on Tuesday (July 20).

He said: “Residents and stakeholders have had the opportunity to comment through a number of stages of consultation since 2015 - there was a slight delay due to Covid.

"Their cases were heard by the inspector of the examination hearings in 2020.

“At the hearings, following extensive discussions from all sides, a number of matters were flagged up by the inspector where the council was required to consider further changes.

"All these were completed satisfactorily and consultation took place.

“Following consultation, the council fed back to the inspector all the comments that were received. This resulted in the inspector requesting the council to respond to further questions.”

Cllr Redford added that a final draft was produced last month which was found to be sound but added that further challenges could still be made within six weeks of the plan being adopted.

And he said: “You have to bear in mind that, if in the future, any of these sites is selected then it has to go through the full planning consultation process when anyone will have the opportunity to raise concerns.”

Labour, Liberal Democrat and Green councillors all spoke against the minerals plan as did Cllr Jan Matecki (Con, Budbrooke and Bishop’s Tachbrook) who questioned the need for the Wasperton site to be included.

He said: “There has been consultation but this was based on the facts that were correct at the time and things have moved forward so the position today is different.

“I accept that there is an opportunity at the planning stage to object to this but actually if it is in the minerals plan then it is going to be a very difficult position to argue against because that’s the way things work.

“I have a lot of issues about the plan because it is out of date. Dunton Quarry [in Curdworth, North Warwickshire] is currently producing between 200,000-250,000 tonnes of sand and gravel a year which is actually more than the Wasperton Quarry is scheduled to produce so, do we really need it?”

Cllr Matckski explained that Wasperton would be just 100 metres away from the proposed quarry at Wasperton Farm with Barford also nearby.

He added: “I am a realist. I know we have to have a plan and we have to have material stock but as Dunton Quarry has been given an extension, I do not believe that the Wasperton site needs to be in this plan at this time.”

The plan was approved by 35 votes to ten with two abstentions - Cllr Matecki and Cllr Judy Falp (Ind, Whitnash).