MP welcomes withdrawal of Horncroft sandpit application
Arundel & South Downs MP Nick Herbert has welcomed the decision of the Barlavington Estate to withdraw an application to quarry sand on Horncroft Common in the new South Downs National Park.
It was originally proposed in March 2010, but a revised application was submitted in November 2010.
The proposal for the development was to create the facilities, plant and quarry to extract 1.5 million tonnes of sand from the 54 acre site near Fittleworth over the next two decades.
Local people feared that the development would not only damage an area located within the South Downs National Park, but would increase noise and traffic. It was believed that there would be up to 100 vehicle movements a day from the site - most of them heavy lorries.
The plans also attracted opposition from the South Downs Joint Committee, the Woodland Trust, the Campaign for National Parks and the Campaign to Protect Rural England.
And it emerged in February this year that Jim Redwood, Head of Planning at the South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA), recommended to the newly formed SDNPA Planning Committee that it should object to the application.
Earlier this year, Mr Herbert handed over a petition on behalf of local people against the proposed sand quarry at West Sussex County Hall in Chichester. The petition, signed by over 640 parishioners and visitors, was handed to Derek Whittington, Chairman of the Planning Committee at West Sussex County Council.
The MP also wrote to West Sussex County Council to register his formal objection to the application.
Scott Greenhalgh, of the Campaign against Horncroft Steering Group, commented: "The decision to withdraw the Horncroft quarry application is good news for the integrity of the new South Downs National Park and for the hundreds of residents who voiced opposition to it.
"The decision also reflects the commercial reality that West Sussex has no need for further sand."
Nick Herbert commented: "I am passionate about protecting the South Downs and surrounding West Sussex countryside from inappropriate development, so I am delighted that the Barlavington Estate has withdrawn their application.
"Quarries in national parks are rightly not allowed unless there are exceptional circumstances, which I do not believe applied in this case. West Sussex appears to have adequate reserves of sand and alternative supplies, and the focus should be on recycling aggregates."
The MP added: "I also pay tribute to the tireless work of all the local Councillors and campaigners who did so much to stop this damaging proposal. Once again people power has worked in West Sussex."
Notes for Editors
1. For further details about the proposed sand pit, visit http://www.proposedhorncroftsandpit.co.uk/.
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/media/memberservices/planningcommittee/20110214/Agenda_Item_11_Report_Horncroft_Quarry_20110204.pdf.