Valuable sand found near Pulborough

South Downs National Park, where the minerals were found
South Downs National Park, where the minerals were found
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A valuable sand may have been discovered at two South Downs National Park sites near Pulborough, the Wiggonholt Association have said.

Silica sand can be used for industrial or agricultural purposes, such as computer screens or golf bunkers, as well as in water filtration and for fracking in gas wells.

Janet Aidin, secretary of the association, said sand has been found at Wickford Bridge and Horncroft, and will now be examined to determine if the sites are the first significant sources of silica sand in the county.

The Wiggonholt Association organised a meeting, held at a packed Pulborough Village Hall on Monday November 3, following the publication of a list of minerals sites considered viable by the Minerals Planning Authority.

West Sussex County Councillor Pat Arculus (Con, Pulborough) discussed the process of the Joint Minerals Local Plan.

In addition, Claire Potts, Minerals Planning Officer for the South Downs National Park Authority, answered questions at the meeting.

Janet said silica sand commands a higher price than other minerals, and its extraction is privileged by the government.

The extraction process may have implications for the environment, she said.

She added that no significant sources of silica sand have previously been discovered in the area.

There will be further consideration by the Joint Minerals Planning Authority before these sites are finally allocated in the draft Minerals Plan.