Plans to revive Boxgrove Quarry rejected

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Plans to revive Boxgrove Quarry were shot down in flames by county councillors who agreed there was no real need for such an operation to take place in the village.

On Tuesday members of West Sussex County Council’s planning committee voted to refuse the latest plans to import thousands of tonnes of waste to the site, and agreed with planning officers the proposal would have an unacceptable impact on the landscape and environment.

Inert Recycling had hoped to import 944,000 tonnes of inert materials and soils from the quarry, generating 84 HGV lorry movements per day.

But objector Marion McQuaide said: “Boxgrove and Halnaker has been blighted with gravel extraction for years and years.

“Extraction on the site started in 1957 and formally ceased in 1999 with an extension for restoration.”

She added: “The community had the rightful expectation the land should be returned to its former glory as the Boxgrove Common after 42 years of dust, noise and HGV movements.”

Inert Recycling wanted to revive operations at the quarry at Tinwood Lane, Halnaker, by infilling it with inert waste and operating an associated recycling site.

It said it would recycle about 38 per cent of all waste imported to the site during the proposed operations, which would last for five years.

The site sits just 100m south of the South Downs National Park, whose authority objected to the plans. No objections were made by the Environment Agency or Natural England, but a total of 100 objections were submitted by members of the public.

Quarry plans would create ‘traffic issues’

Cllr Henry Potter, who was representing Boxgrove Parish Council at the planning meeting at County Hall, said the traffic issues concerned him.

He said residents must have ‘nerves of steel’ to cross one particular junction close to the quarry, which would be aggravated by an increase in HGV movements.

“Residents of Halnaker and Boxgrove have said the transport issues alone should warrant the refusal of this application,” he added.

One resident, who owns and cares for horses in the area, said they would be negatively affected by the number of HGV movements to and from the site.

She said: “One man wrote to me and said the tranquillity in the area has to be experienced to be believed.

“He also said who in their right mind would want to take that away? I would like to express the same view.”

County councillor Mike Hall, who is from Boxgrove, was a speaker at the meeting. He said: “This application threatens both the flora and fauna of the area.

“Any existing habitat will be lost, which includes birds and badgers. These are the words of the applicant in their own ecological survey. These habitats will be disturbed.”

Mr Hall invited the applicants to meet with him, residents and planning officers to look at the future of the common.

Cllr Christine Field, who is on the planning committee, said: “I don’t believe as a responsible authority we should be reviewing an application that only aims to recycle 38 per cent of inert material.”