LETTER: Sensitive area is wrong setting

Your letters
Your letters

It’s good to see that local people are waking up to the threat posed by Britaniacrest’s application to build a mammoth commercial and industrial waste incinerator at the old Warnham brickworks.

Local people will be familiar with the existing chimneystack on the site at Langhurstwood Road, just off the A264 north of Horsham. It is plainly visible from quite a distance (as is the mountain of landfill waste in the same location).

Well, just to put the size of this planned incinerator into perspective, the building to house it will be nearly twice the height of that existing stack. The reason it has to be so tall is that the site is actually not big enough to house the scheme, so they have to build upwards, rather than outwards. And that’s only the building to house the incinerator.

The flue needed to deal with the fumes emanating from the incinerator is going to be three and a half times taller than the existing stack. It’s actually going to be taller than Big Ben! Imagine the impact that would have on the surrounding landscape.

The setting is totally wrong for a scheme of this size. How on earth can they think it’s OK to build a huge industrial facility so close to areas of outstanding natural beauty and with the Warnham Nature Reserve a close neighbour? There are important scheduled monuments and the Warnham Conservation Area close by. Heritage assets (including 36 listed buildings) are located within 1.5km of the site. This is obviously the wrong site for an industrial facility of this size.

Whatever the arguments for and against incineration as a method of waste disposal (and the jury’s still out on this – results of research into the harmful impact on the health of people living close to incinerators are still awaited), there can be no arguments in favour of siting such a monstrosity in this sensitive area.

It’s interesting to see (from the West Sussex County Council’s Planning website) that after the granting of initial permission two years ago for Britaniacrest’s ‘Waste Transfer Facility’, which involved waste reclamation and recyclying (not incineration) the company made at least three applications to amend or discharge conditions which were imposed when WSCC initially granted permission. The company sought to increase tonnage throughput and increase associated HGV movements.

This planning application could be the thin end of an very thick wedge. The time allowed to oppose it is fast running out, so have a look at the planning application (Ref: WSCC/062/16/NH) on West Sussex County Council’s website and have your say!

Sheila White

Dorking Road, Warnham


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