Sixty-five villagers from Barford formed a protest outside St John’s College on Tuesday following a decision by the College to allow farmland that it owns in the area to be used as a sand and gravel quarry.

Protesters brandished signs reading “Quarry dust can kill,” “Land not sand” and “Quash the quarry” as they stood outside the porters lodge of St John’s College. Primary school children from the area wore air pollution masks and were handing out leaflets to passing students.

The site, owned by St John’s, had been earmarked by Warwickshire County Council as part of their Minerals Development Framework plan. The plan is intended to “identify where new minerals sites should be located, and set out the policies to assess new minerals development proposals over the next 15 years.”

To date, hundreds of local residents have responded to the Council’s consultation on the plan, which identifies 32 potential sites for development.

“Negative health effects on residents”, “blight on property prices” and “proximity to listed buildings” are among the numerous concerns that have been expressed by members of the Barton Residents Association.

So far, the group have raised over £25,000 in donations from local residents which has been spent on ecological assessments of proposed development sites and legal services fees.

The Barton Residents Association has reported “good responses” and said: “The Students Union are now raising the matter at their next meeting.”

The College Bursar told the press that the College wishes to assure those people who have taken the time to write that all the letters have been read by the relevant people in the College and their points fully considered.”

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