West Lavington quarry’s ‘Capability Brown inspired’ plans

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New plans for a revised stabilisation scheme at the controversial Pendean sand quarry in West Lavington have been submitted to the South Downs National Park Authority.

The plans include drainage improvement works and the operation of a soil screening plant at the site which Inert Recycling UK (IRUK) carrying out the work at the quarry claim, will lead to the creation of a ‘Capability Brown-inspired’ landscape led restoration scheme.

They claim it would enhance the landscape character of the site ‘in the wider national park landscape setting of Pendean Sand Quarry’.

It would be completed by January 2020 inside the six year time frame of their existing planning permission.

But it would mean bringing in 325,000 cubic metres of inert material.

IRUK says 305,000 is required to build the quarry face stabilisation slope with a 1 in 4 slope design instead of the current permission for a 1 in 3 slope. An additional 20,000 is needed to re-profile the former inert landfill to the north of the quarry faces as part of a scheme to improve the surface water drainage, it said in a planning statement to the national park.

The site is owned by CEMEX but since mineral extraction ended there the site has been leased to IRUK who are restoring it including the construction of an approved stabilisation slope.

But the company divided Midhurst and West Lavington residents last year when it applied for and eventually received, permission to double the daily number of lorries travelling to and from the site with inert waste.

IRUK now has permission for a maximum of 220 lorries travelling to and from the Pendean site every week - an increase from an average of 14 a day to 44 daily.

West Lavington residents felt it was worth putting up with the significantly increased lorry movements to get the quarry infilled more quickly.

But town councillors objected on the grounds the lorries, travelling through the centre of Midhurst, were already damaging the town’s roads and increasing noise and dust pollution.

IRUK says the new stabilisation slope design would have ‘a greater inherent factor of safety and deliver genuine long term stability of the quarry faces’ in addition to improving the landscape. It also says the drainage improvements would better control the flow of surface water.

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