Barford villagers protest at Oxford college

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Campaigning Barford villagers took their battle against plans for a new quarry at Wasperton to Oxford University last week, with an eye-catching protest.

63 Barford residents, equipped with banners and placards, protested outside St John’s College, which owns the land on which the quarry is proposed, last Tuesday.

They argue that the quarry will become a health hazard for locals, destroy valuable agricultural land and ecosystems, increase the risk of flooding and could potentially pollute the River Avon.

Charlotte Morgan, a Barford mum with two children at Barford Primary School, said: “We had 63 people there, we’re very pleased with that turnout. We gave out leaflets and spoke to a lot of the students and they seemed to think what was happening in Barford was quite concerning.

“I’m happy with how it went, we fulfilled our objective of raising awareness. We’re fairly confident that we can stop this, there were more than 1,000 objections during the consultation process and I know that the communities in Barford and the surrounding villages are united against the plans.”

Responding to the protest last week, Andrew Parker, bursar at St John’s College, explained that the land had been identified by the county council as a site which could provide aggregates to support the construction of housing in the area.

He said that the responsibility for addressing the environmental and health and safety concerns raised by residents lay with the county council, and that a final decision on whether the include the site in the council’s Minerals Plan, had not yet been made.

He added: “The College has a social responsibility not just to the people living locally but assisting the local county council to build homes for those people buying houses in the future.