Campaigners vow to continue Straight Mile quarry fight

Kill The Quarry protesters prepare for the next stage of the fight against the quarry, off the straight mile near Bourton-on-Dunsmore.
Kill The Quarry protesters prepare for the next stage of the fight against the quarry, off the straight mile near Bourton-on-Dunsmore.
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The size of the threatened quarry along the Straight Mile has been reduced but is still number one in the county council’s list of new sites.

And while the slimmed down proposals have been given a cautious welcome by campaigners, they have vowed to fight on.

The amended Minerals Plan Preferred Option and Policies document was adopted by Warwickshire County Council cabinet at its meeting on Thursday and due to go out to consultation in November.

When the plans were first made known last October residents of Bourton, Draycote and Frankton were stunned by the scale of the 110-hectare site proposed.

Together with Bourton and Draycote Parish Council, they launched a ‘Kill The Quarry, Not Our Villages’ campaign.

Funds were raised and an independent planning consultant employed to help produce a detailed rebuttal of the county’s plan.

The updated county document still puts Bourton at the top of the list but plans have been scaled back to a 29-hectare site with a number of safeguards built-in.

These include measures on flooding and pollution risk, wildlife and ecology protection and road and junction improvements to the B4453 and A4071.

Lead campaigner and Bourton resident Jenny Blazeby, who is also a parish councillor, said: “The scheme now being put forward by the county council rightly reflects and acknowledges many of the concerns expressed by our campaign, and we welcome the more limited scale of the proposed operation.

“On the face of it this reduces the likely impact on our communities. And we particularly note the commitment to a programme of ‘phased working and progressive restoration to agriculture and nature conservation uses’. This is encouraging.

“However, our campaign set out to have the Bourton site removed altogether from the mineral plan. This remains our objective and we shall again be arguing our case when the next consultation process is launched.

“Though welcome, the amended document is, for us, only a limited victory. It’s a battle successfully fought. The war remains to be won.”