I CANNOT let the letter from Alison Crooks, GPR Wessex, concerning the failed application to infill Duncton Chalk Quarry with inert waste go by without response.
Ms Crooks fails to mention that the application which received so many objections, was primarily to operate a waste recycling site at the Quarry as well as eventually infilling the chalk pit.
Immediately below the quarry is an aquifer that supplies residents in East Lavington, students at Seaford College and horses at the Lavington Stud with fresh drinking water.
GPR Wessex admitted in its planning application that it was impossible to guarantee that all waste coming on site would be safe from contamination.
Chalk is highly permeable and the threat to this valuable resource was very real. In addition the chance of contamination of run-off water from the storage and treatment of waste kept on site threatened the water courses that fill the ponds and lakes in Duncton and Barlavington.
It is wrong to say the Environment Agency had no objections.
They would have imposed very stringent conditions on working
Ms Crooks also fails to mention that the application was rejected because the quarry is sited on the A285, one of the country’s most dangerous roads.
It is impossible to improve the sight lines to the entrance without causing a great deal of destruction to the surrounding countryside. Noise and dust from reprocessing waste would have disturbed those who use the nearby footpaths as they enjoy this beautiful area in the heart of the new National Park.
Ms Crooks mentions the directors live in the area and wish to enhance the local environment. Companies House lists the directors’ addresses as Haslemere, Chichester and Sutton Scotney – hardly local I think.
She also fails to mention that the company was caught illegally dumping waste on site just weeks before the planning hearing.
The residents of Duncton and East Lavington are delighted that
by refusing the application the park’s planning committee has reinforced the stated purpose of the SDNP – to conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and heritage of the area.
Chairman, Duncton Parish Council