MP registers formal objection to quarry in National Park
Arundel & South Downs MP Nick Herbert has registered his formal objection to the Barlavington Estate's application to quarry sand on Horncroft Common in the new South Downs National Park.
In a letter to West Sussex County Council Mr Herbert writes that, as well as expressing his own opinion, he felt a duty to "draw attention to the many letters I have received from constituents in the many villages affected, and their parish councils, that I represent and that are firmly opposed to the Barlavington Estate's plans."
It has also emerged that Jim Redwood, Head of Planning at the South Downs National Park Authority, has recommended to the newly formed SDNPA Planning Committee that it should object to the plans.
The scheme's promoters have submitted the application to the County Council ahead of 1 April when the Park Authority will assume responsibility for planning decisions.
Mr Herbert says that it would be "surprising" if the Park Authority did not follow this advice and object to the application, and that "it would be quite wrong for the County Council to grant permission for the quarry just weeks ahead of the transfer of responsibility for such decisions to the Park Authority when it is likely that they would object."
The proposal for the development is to create the facilities, plant and quarry required to extract 1.5 million tonnes of sand over the next 20 years.
Local people fear that the development will not only damage an area located within the South Downs National Park, but would increase noise and traffic. It is believed that there would be up to 100 vehicle movements a day from the site, most of them heavy lorries.
Last month, Nick Herbert handed over a petition - signed by over 640 parishioners and visitors - to the County Council against the proposed quarry.
Mr Herbert commented: "There is a strong case against this quarry and now we know that the National Park's planning officers are recommending that the application is turned down. I hope that West Sussex County Council will note this and reject the proposal."
Notes for Editors
1. A copy of Nick Herbert MP's letter to West Sussex County Council can be viewed here.
2. The recommendation by Jim Redwood, Head of Planning at the South Downs National Park Authority, can be viewed at http://www.southdowns.gov.uk/content/page/12023/Agenda_Item_11_Report_Horncroft_Quarry_20110204.pdf
3. For further details about the proposed sand quarry, visit http://www.proposedhorncroftsandpit.co.uk/
4. The planning application can be viewed at http://eplanning.westsusex.gov.uk/eplanningOPS/loadFullDetails.do?aplld=1183