Boxgrove Quarry application to be decided

‘FIVE years of misery’ await residents if a quarry restoration gets the green light, according to nearby homeowners.

Inert Recycling has submitted a planning application to West Sussex County Council to restore Boxgrove Quarry for mineral working with inert materials.

“Frankly, we feel very unhappy at the prosect of them carrying out this work at the quarry here,” said Oakford Park resident Keith Lockwood.

The application, if permitted, would entitle the company to import around 555,000 tonnes of inert material over a period of five years to the quarry, where a recycling plant would be built.

“It’s a five-year job. It really is pretty horrendous,” said Mr Lockwood.

“The prospect of five years of misery really doesn’t fill us with any great cheer at all.

“I think it’s a very worrying matter for Halnaker as a village.”

This is the second such application submitted by the company, after a previous one was refused at appeal in 2012. The company said the new plan addressed previous reasons for refusal. The application will be considered by West Sussex County Council’s planning committee today (March 4) and this time council planners have recommended the committee approve the scheme, with suitable conditions.

Concerning the difference between the two schemes, Mr Lockwood’s neighbour Mike Harding said: “I think it’s the same as far as I’m concerned. The impact on me will be the same.”

Although described as a restoration site for inert materials, Mr Harding believed the site would be a ‘landfill site’, with lorries going backwards and forwards continually.

If it got the go-ahead, the development would result in an average of 40 HGV movements each day, with 20 vehicles entering and then leaving the site. It would operate between 7am and 6pm during the week and between 7am and 1pm on Saturdays.

Mr Harding said his main concerns were the noise, as well as the safety of large vehicles travelling on the narrow roads in the area.

Among the planning inspector’s reasons for refusing the previous application was the harm to the character and appearance of the area and the setting of the South Downs National Park. However, he noted some benefits would have arisen from the proposal.

Inert Recycling said the latest proposal would ‘improve the landscape setting’ of the quarry and develop ecological benefits.

Boxgrove Parish Council has strongly objected to the new plan, citing increased traffic on the already dangerous A285, harm to the national park, noise pollution and economic sustainability.

Chichester District Council raised no objection to the proposal,