The clock is ticking if you want to object.
But are Waverley Planners objecting? Is Surrey County Council making a formal objection?
Is Guildford & Cranleigh MP Angela Richardson objecting on behalf of her constituents as they face HGV overload?
Could all that clay be making its way right onto her own home doorstep to the Brickworks in Ewhurst?
Having been bombarded with more than 40% of ‘Your Waverley’s homes quota its eastern villages are now being swamped by HGV’s!
Loxwood Clay Pits Ltd wants the backing of West Sussex County Council to create a massive clay quarry on the outskirts of Alfold in Pallinghurst Woods. Yes, that poor beleaguered village on the Surrey/Sussex border. Really! You couldn’t make it up, how much more misery must they and their neighbours be forced to take?
A plan which neighbouring villages have described as potentially “catastrophic.”
The immediate area is already suffering HGV’s movements every 15 minutes along the A281 Guildford/Horsham Road into nearby Wildwood Lane on their way to the Cranleigh Brick & Tile site in Knowle Lane, Cranleigh. Now they could face 33 years, yes really, 33 long years of another 42 HGV movements per day.
Surrey County Council Highways backed the plan for 70 lorry movements per day for five and a half years to pound along Wildwood Lane which serves Cranleigh Youth and Senior Rugby Clubs. The lane has folded up and disintegrated several times since work began.
And – don’t think that some of the lorries won’t be thundering through every other town and village in the borough of Waverley, because you can bet your bottom dollar they will.
The site which is raising massive local opposition is crisscrossed by public footpaths and bridleways.
Said Environmental scientist Dr Jill Sutcliffe.
It’s a greenfield site and it is absolutely ironic that this application wants to take down trees to put up a recycling unit, when the government is telling us all to plant trees because of climate change nd in an area that supports wonderful wildlife.”
Mike Rutherford of Genisis fame has joined all the local protestors and the website includes a message from the rock star who has lived in and loved the area for the past 43 years.
Here’s the view of objector Mark Lebus.
Application (WSCC/030/21) has only one benefit…
(i.e., profit for the applicant) but a very significant and harmful list of risks and reasons why it should never be approved.
1) Health and Safety Risk – the woodlands, footpaths and Loxwood Road are used by walkers, cyclists, riders, and local drivers 365 days a year. There is a school bus route with stops along the Loxwood Road route and access to numerous public footpaths onto the road which means that the proposed HGV route will create an extraordinarily high risk of road traffic incidents or worse for 33 years.
2) Environmental Impact – The proposed clay pit area is greenfield and sits within/alongside ancient woodlands, farming fields, livestock, ponds and waterways and is currently rich with biodiversity and benefits to health and wellbeing. The proposed activities will destroy huge parts of the local environment through dust, carbon emissions, noise and light pollution and vibration. Regular habitat surveys will demonstrate a rapid and irreversible decline of biodiversity across a wide area beyond the clay pit boundaries which in turn will also have a significant effect on farming and health and wellbeing across the whole area.
3) Infrastructure Risk – the proposed route to and from the site assumes that 40 HGV vehicle movements per day for 33 years would have little or no impact on the minor roads, adjacent properties, listed buildings, farmland and watercourses.
“The impact on infrastructure across the neighbouring rural environment is highly likely to be catastrophic including a real danger to lives if buildings or roads become unstable due to long-term and consistent HGV movements.”
4) Local Authority responsibility – How does this application meet any of the four key priorities of the West Sussex County Council 2021-2025 plan (which is underpinned by a cross-cutting theme of tackling climate change)?
- 1. Keeping people safe from vulnerable situations.
- 2. A sustainable and prosperous economy.
- 3. Helping people and communities to fulfil their potential.
- 4. Making the best use of resources.
- The WSCC Plan also states –
“We have also seen unexpected benefits including cleaner air, less noise, neighbourliness, and an appreciation of the environment our residents live in. This new context means WSCC needs to build a new model of priorities for the next four years and beyond – one that focuses everything we are able to do on achieving good health and wellbeing for our residents In order to be fit for the future we must do two things.”
- 5) Demand for Clay – is there clear evidence that there is a demand for clay anywhere in the UK when there are four sites with more than 24 years supply of clay, therefore meeting all national and local level clay requirements. The proposed clay demand argument is surely removed by the closure of West Hoathly brickworks near Crawley. If there is no need for the clay, then presumably the justification for a waste site is also disputable.