Matt Western MP speaks out against Barford quarry plans in Parliament

Leamington and Warwick MP Matt Western
Leamington and Warwick MP Matt Western

Warwick and Leamington MP Matt Western spoke out against the plans for a quarry in Barford in Parliament this week.

Late on Tuesday evening, MP Matt Western hosted a debate in Parliament about the proposed quarry in Barford.

The site at Wasperton Hill Farm, has been identified by Warwickshire County Council as part of its minerals plan. The purpose of the site is the excavation of sand and gravel.

Mr Western argued that the quarry was unnecessary and unwanted, and asked the minister to intervene and stop the project from going ahead.

It follows concerns from Barford residents about the heath and air quality implications on the village if the quarry were to go ahead, in addition to environmental concerns about the loss of high- quality farmland and the additional strain on infrastructure.

The minister did not commit to intervening in this project.

In his debate Mr Western highlighted that the proposed quarry is about 350 metres from the southern edge of the village of Barford and that there have also been a number of concerns raised about health implications the quarry could have.

"I stated that there are other concerns that relate to proximity. They are the concerns that the villages and communities have themselves.

"Essentially, it is about the dust emissions and the impact on residents’ health and on children’s health.

"Although the county council have proposed measures to reduce dust, they will not prevent the prevailing winds carrying dust over the village, and the proposals do not offer any guarantee that the quarry will not have negative health impacts.

"The dust from the quarry will contain silica, which can be extremely harmful to the elderly and to young children.

"As I said, with St Peter’s primary school so close by, 170 students will be put at particular risk."

Speaking about the debate, Matt said “I will always stand up for the residents of Warwick and Leamington.

"I believe it’s important that I take every opportunity such as an adjournment debate here in Parliament to ensure that the voices of my residents are heard. This quarry must be stopped, and I will back them all the way.”

He went on to add: “I would like to thank the tireless campaigning by groups like Barford Bar Zero and Communities Against Sand and Gravel for all of their efforts to date.

Residents in and around Barford have been campaigning to halt the quarry plans and in December 2018, when the plan was in the consultation stage, a petition with more than 250 signatures was handed over to Warwickshire County Council.

Earlier this year some of the campaigners also protested in Oxford outside St John’s College, which owns the site earmarked for the quarry.

Read more: Campaigners hand over 250 objections to Barford quarry plans

In his debate Matt Western said that the proposals are due to be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate for consideration in a few weeks’ time.

To find out more about the campaigners go to: http://www.barfordresidents.co.uk/