MPs welcome withdrawal of landfill proposal
West Sussex MPs Nick Herbert (Arundel & South Downs) and Francis Maude (Horsham) have welcomed the decision of Cory Environmental not to proceed with its plans for a landfill site at Thakeham.
The firm announced today (3 March) that it will withdraw its application to dump 4.1 million tonnes of rubbish at Laybrook over the next 21 years, saying that it recognised that there were better ways to deal with the County's waste.
The move comes after Mr Herbert and Mr Maude joined local campaigners outside County Hall in Chichester last month to hand over a petition signed by 5,000 people objecting to the plans.
Mr Herbert, who is Shadow Environment Secretary, also met with the Chief Executive of Cory in December to convey his opposition to the proposals and to relay the concerns of his constituents.
Nick Herbert commented: "I'm delighted that Cory has decided to withdraw its plans for a landfill site at Laybrook. It will be a great relief to my constituents in Thakeham, Ashington and West Chiltington. It's a tribute to the superb campaign organised by Thakeham Village Action and to the thousands of people who went along to the public meetings, joined the marches and signed the petitions. This is a fantastic victory for people power."
Mr Herbert added: "As I know from my constituents in Small Dole, the noise, smell, flies and litter from a landfill site can be awful. Landfill is also the most environmentally damaging way to dispose of waste and should always be the last resort. We should be increasing recycling and using waste for energy and materials, not burying the problem in the ground. So I welcome Cory's decision to look at the alternatives to landfill, although I would still have concerns about using the Laybrook site because of the lorries on our quiet country roads. But we will cross that bridge if and when we come to it."
Francis Maude commented: "This is just fantastic news! The villages around Laybrook will be breathing a collective sigh of relief. I've said it before and I don't mind saying it again - Jean Locker and her team organised a formidable campaign. Every step of the way they updated the community, rallying them behind the campaign and making sure they grabbed every opportunity to express their view and objections. The campaigners should be very proud and I'm sure there will be a fair few celebrations in the coming days and weeks. This was undoubtedly people power at its finest!"
Jean Locker of Thakeham Village Action said: "This is superb news. At last, Cory Environmental has come to its senses and decided to drop its plans for a rotting rubbish landfill at Laybrook. The reasons for rejecting this application were so overwhelming; they have taken the only sensible option open to them.
"So many people have given time, energy and money to win this battle and their efforts have been rewarded. Our thanks are due to everyone involved. The support of many parish, district and county councillors has been key to the success of the campaign and special thanks are due to our two local MPs, Nick Herbert and Francis Maude, who have been tireless champions of our cause. We now have to make sure that the idea of a rotting rubbish landfill at Laybrook, or anywhere in England, is put firmly into the history books."
Notes for Editors
1. A copy of the news release from Cory, announcing their decision to withdraw the planning application for a landfill site at Laybrook, is attached.
2. For the website of Thakeham Village Action (TVA), who have been campaigning against the proposed landfill site at Laybrook Brickworks, visit http://www.thakehamvillageaction.org.uk/.
3. For details of TVA's campaign, visit http://www.nolaybrooklandfill.co.uk/.