Keep thundering gravel lorries out of Chichester – this is the message going out from city councillors.
Members of the city planning and conservation committee were considering an application to renew an existing planning consent to extract around a million tonnes of sand and gravel from land at Kingsham, just outside the city boundary.
The application has been made to West Sussex County Council, which originally granted permission for the scheme about three years ago.
City councillors agreed not to object to the proposals - the same view they took three years ago - but are calling for lorries collecting the aggregates from the site to be kept out of the city itself.
“Our only concern is that suitable arrangements should be made for lorry traffic not to come through the city,” said committee chairman Cllr Michael Woolley.
“We don’t want gravel lorries pounding through Chichester, and would like routes to be arranged for them which will avoid this.”
County councillors were told three years ago, before giving planning consent, that the work was expected to take place over a period of ten years, and new lakes and wildlife habitats would be created when the 47-hectare site was restored.
The scheme, planned by Dudman Aggregates, also includes a ‘low profile’ concrete plant.
The county councillors also heard from their planning officers, who said there was a clear need for the development in terms of regional and local requirements for land-won sand and gravel.
The overall restoration objective for the site was to create a valuable landscape and wildlife feature, with islands providing a secluded haven for birds.
Chichester already has a number of lakes in former gravel pits, put to uses including angling and boating.
The officers’ report said traffic movements arising from the site were expected to average 126 a day. Neither the city nor district councils opposed the original plan, but there were objections from Hunston Parish Council.