Nick Herbert renews call for 'zero landfill' in West Sussex
Arundel & South Downs MP Nick Herbert has renewed his call for an end to landfill in West Sussex.
Mr Herbert was speaking on Sunday (31 May) at a major fundraising event organised by campaigners fighting proposals to dump 4.7 million tonnes of rubbish at Laybrook Brickworks near Thakeham.
Mr Herbert, who is Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, said it was unacceptable that local communities in Thakeham and Small Dole should have to put up with the noise, traffic, pollution, flies, smell and litter from landfill sites.
The MP added that the methane produced by landfill is 23 times more damaging in terms of global warming than carbon dioxide.
In a renewed call for a policy of ‘zero landfill', Mr Herbert said that there were better ways to deal with waste; that we should reduce packaging, increase recycling rates and convert more of our waste into energy.
In February, there was cause for celebration in West Sussex when proposals for a new landfill site at Rock Common near Washington were rejected after the County's Planning Committee heard evidence from local campaigners, councillors and Nick Herbert.
However, Mr Herbert has warned that the war against landfill is far from won. Following publication of the final South East Plan last month, West Sussex still faces the prospect of having to accept nearly 2 million tonnes of rubbish from London.
And, with the planning application for a landfill site at Laybrook imminent and the recent extension of the Horton Landfill Site near Small Dole, local communities still face an uncertain future.
Last month, Mr Herbert met with the Small Dole Action Group once again and relayed their concerns to West Sussex County Council. A few days later, the Action Group and David Barling met with Council Leader Henry Smith who agreed to look into some of the planning issues at Small Dole to ensure that local residents have more of a say over future plans for the site.
At Sunday's event, Mr Herbert pledged that he would continue to give his strong backing to local communities in their battle against landfill.
Mr Herbert commented: "Our successful fight to save our local hospital services showed that people power can work. So I urge local people to fight on to prevent rotting rubbish from being dumped in your community.
"If you want to know what it's like to live next to a landfill site, just ask people down the road at Small Dole, who for years have had to put up with the flies, smell, lorries and disruption. We've successfully stopped landfill at Washington. Now we must stop it at Laybrook, too. I will do everything I can to support you. In the 21st Century, it's time to end landfill, and the environmental damage it does, for good."
Mr Herbert was joined at the event by Sir Charles Burrell, owner of Knepp Castle, and Horsham MP Francis Maude whose constituency is affected by the proposals for Laybrook.
Notes for Editors
1. The picnic concert, organised by Thakeham Village Action, was held at Knepp Castle on Sunday 31 May from 3pm with the kind permission of Sir Charles and Lady Burrell. It attracted around 500 people and raised more than £18,000 for the campaign against proposals for a landfill site at Laybrook.
2. For the website of Thakeham Village Action (TVA), who are campaigning against the proposed landfill site at Laybrook Brickworks near Thakeham, visit http://www.thakehamvillageaction.org.uk/.
3. For details of TVA's campaign, visit http://www.nolaybrooklandfill.co.uk/.
4. For the website of the Small Dole Action Group, visit http://smalldole.com/.
5. Following a ‘waste summit' organised by Nick Herbert last year, the Chanctonbury Landfill Action Group (CLAG), Thakeham Village Action (TVA) and the Small Dole Action Group (SDAG) joined forces to form a new campaigning organisation called Zero Landfill. For further details, visit http://www.nolaybrooklandfill.co.uk/pages/zerolandfill/.