MP speaks against sandpit proposals at packed meeting

MORE THAN 200 villagers packed a meeting last week along with local MP Nick Herbert to protest the proposed Horncroft sand quarry in the heart of the South Downs.

The South Downs and Arundel MP as well as county councillor Michael Brown addressed the meeting and reiterated that they wanted to see the planning application rejected.

Villagers from Fittleworth, Bignor, Sutton, Coldwaltham and Bury joined a packed meeting on Friday 7th to make their feelings known about the application which plans to extract 1.5 million tonnes of sand from the heart of the South Downs.

The application was revised before Christmas with area of land being reduced to 9.9 hectares of land with the extraction site at Mansby Field being deleted.

Speaking at the meeting Nick Herbert said: “I continue to oppose this sand extraction. The whole point of designating the South Downs as a National Park was to secure the highest levels of protection for this unique landscape. It would be quite perverse if one of the first key decisions affecting the park was to allow damaging mineral extraction.

“The South Downs and the surrounding countryside are precious. It is our duty to preserve the rural nature of this part of West Sussex. Allowing lorries to thunder through our villages would destroy this rural tranquillity.”

No-one spoke in support of the Barlavington Estate application to excavate a new sand quarry at Horncroft near Fittleworth with residents signing a petition and calling for a march of protest to County Hall.

What are your views on the Horncroft sand quarry plans? Leave your comments below or email ct.letters@sussexnewspapers.co.uk