Concerns over waste dumping in village

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Concerns are being raised over the dumping of waste on the site of a former garden nursery in Slaugham.

Residents say that heavy lorries are causing traffic problems in the area and they fear that the waste could lead to pollution in the nearby River Ouse.

The waste is being deposited at the site of the former Slaugham Garden Nursery in Slaugham Road.

Colin Smith, who lives in nearby Coos Lane, said: “It is causing absolute chaos in what used to be a very quiet little village.” He said that dozens of 20-ton lorries were operating in the area.

Parish council chairman John Welch has complained to the Environment Agency. In a letter to them, he said: “Slaugham Garden Nursery is designated as a horticultural site, it lies at the the centre of the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the site is totally inappropriate for the mass dumping of top soil and hard core.”

But a spokesman for the Environment Agency said that landowners of the former nursery site were legally allowed to deposit construction waste there.

He said: “Slaugham Garden Nursery has registered an exemption from the need to hold an environmental permit with the Environment Agency.

“This exemption allows them to deposit and use certain types of waste in construction at the site. The quantities and types of waste can be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/waste-exemptions-using-waste.

“Our Environment Officer inspected the operations on the site on 11 October 2017, and it was compliant with the quantities and waste types allowed under the exemption.

“We expect the work on site to take around two weeks, at which time our Environment Officers will return to ensure the advice and guidance we have provided to the operator has been followed.

“We are liaising with Mid Sussex District Council Planning Authority to ensure there is planning permission to carry out this operation and that this is consistent with the uses allowed under the waste exemption.”

However, Colin Smith said that he feared similar waste dumping was taking place all across West Sussex because of a change in law which allowed landowners to apply for exemption from needing an environment permit.