RESIDENTS’ fears were brushed aside as a five-year plan for restoring Boxgrove Quarry was approved this week.
The application by Inert Recycling to fill in the former mineral quarry with inert materials was approved by West Sussex County Council’s planning committee on Tuesday (March 4).
However, nearby resident Mike Harding, of Oakford Park, told the committee he did not consider it to be a restoration project, but rather a ‘commercial landfill project’.
The Chichester North county councillor Jeremy Hunt also spoke strongly against the scheme, citing traffic issues.
“The results could be catastrophic,” he said of the increased HGV movements on the already busy road.
Other problems raised at the meeting included the early start time of 7am during the week, noise levels and dealing with Japanese knotweed.
“I’m not satisfied at the moment about the HGV issue,” said councillor John Rogers.
“No assessment seems to have been done about what highway improvements might be needed prior to this operation.”
It was claimed last week the proposal would lead to ‘five years of misery’ for residents.
This application from Inert Recycling is the second time it has attempted to restore the quarry.
The previous application was refused by the council in 2011 – a decision which was appealed.
However, a planning inspector upheld the county council’s decision.
The latest application from Inert Recycling aimed to address the issues raised by the planning inspector.
The number of lorry movements has been halved to 20 HGV’s entering and leaving the site per day (40 movements in total), moving an estimated 555,000 tonnes of inert material onto the site, where a recycling plant would be built.
The previous application was for 944,000 tonnes.
Boxgrove Parish Council objected to the scheme, but all other statutory consultees raised no objection.
The committee approved the proposal by six votes to two.
A number of amendments were proposed, such as not starting until 8am, but these were voted against.