Campaigners warn against revised sandpit plan

CAMPAIGNERS have warned against a revised proposal which has been submitted to West Sussex County Council to extract 1.5 million tonnes of sand from the heart of the South Downs.

Applicants, the Barlavington Estate, has reduced the extraction site down to 9.9 hectres of land at Horncroft Common, near Fittleworth, for what it described as ‘environmental reasons’.

It means proposals to extract in Mansby Field have been deleted from the application.

The February application submitted plans to plant 500 trees adjacent to the Bridleway but this has been increased in the latest revision to 3,740 trees to thicken the boundary.

However, campaigners maintain that the changes are not enough and that the application should not be approved by West Sussex County Council because it still contradicts UK policy on National Parks.

Resident Scott Greenhalgh said: “The submission does not do anything to alter the fact that a new sand quarry inside the National Park is against UK policy.

“Inspite of the Christmas break concerned residents should make their comments and views known to the parish council and the West Sussex County Council.”

Campaigners now fear that the Barlavington Estate is trying to get the application rushed through before the National Park Authority becomes the sole local planning body for the national park in April.

The controversial plans went to consultation in the summer but after a huge campaign against it and a request by WSCC for more information the applicants have instead come up with revision of the plans.

The fundamentals of the application have stayed the same with the aimi to extract 1.5 million tonnes of sand over 20 years.

It would work on the principle of 275 working days per year, which would be equal to 273 tonnes per day. They anticipate that most HGVs will be able to transport 15 tonnes of sand equating to 18 loads per day, which is a total of 36 lorries both ways.

The new application says that it plans to restrict HGV movement so that access to the sandpit can be from the south aling the B2137.

If you would like to comment on the application visit the planning section at www.westsussex.gov.uk, application number WSCC/053/10/BY.