Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Mineral extraction in West Sussex and the National Park: a meeting organised by the Wiggonholt Association

West Sussex County Council (WSCC) and the South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA) are developing a joint "Minerals Local Plan” for future mineral provision for this area.  This aims to ensure that sufficient raw materials are available to support such activities as house-building, road development and new airport runways.

Mineral extraction could have significant adverse environmental implications so it is clearly an issue that should concern residents and conservation bodies alike.  At present the plan is at an early stage and a wide range of potential extraction sites (quarries) are being considered prior to any formal site allocation.  Nevertheless, sites are now being discussed and there is a need for local people to understand the implications and make their views known.

In this regard The Wiggonholt Association is organising a meeting at 7pm on 3rd November 2014 at Pulborough Village Hall.  Speakers include Richard Bate (an environmental planner and specialist advisor on silica sand and sand extraction) and Pat Arculus (West Sussex County Councillor for Pulborough).

Pulborough is under particular threat as an extraction site is proposed just to the east of Pulborough opposite Mare Hill and Broomer’s Hill.  The mineral here is silica sand, which is particularly sought after so there is a high likelihood that this site will go forward – with the consequent noise, disturbance and environmental damage.

I am unable to attend the meeting (although I hope someone from SWT will be able to go), but I recommend that anyone worried about having a quarry on their doorstep does go along to find out more.