Controversial quarry lorry increase through Midhurst is resisted

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Midhurst town councillors have decided to ‘stick to their guns’ and reinforce their objections to plans for increased quarry lorry movements through the town.

Chairman of the planning committee Gordon McAra reminded members they had objected to a recent plan from Inert Recycling UK to increase the lorry movements from 14 a day to 50 a day to Pendean Quarry at West Lavington. This was then turned down by the South Downs National Park Authority.

It was felt Inert had not shown there was a need for the big increase and it would give rise to an ‘unreasonable level of disturbance’.

The refusal and Midhurst’s objections fuelled a growing row between the town and West Lavington villagers, many of whom want more lorries so the job can be finished more quickly.

Now Inert has come back, wanting to increase the number to ‘no more than 220’ going into and leaving the site every week.

Mr McAra said: “The company has come back, basically with the same planning application with slightly different numbers. One of the differences is instead of daily trips, they are asking permission for a weekly total which allows them to make their own arrangements as to how many lorries come and go each day, but the number is still way up on the present permission.”

He added: “We have had a disagreement with West Lavington Parish Council because the parish is almost unaffected, it is everybody else who has to take the brunt of this.”

He claimed more lorries would not necessarily mean the work would be completed any faster: “It is quite normal when someone has done the bulk of a landfill job, they ask for new land profiling,” he said, which could well increase the process.

Steve Morley said the company was not adhering to current restrictions and there was no reason to believe it would stick to a higher number: “I don’t favour giving more as I don’t feel they can be trusted.”

Glyn Upjohn said he believed there was a lot of commercial sense in allowing higher numbers: “There is a view in West Lavington they want the job done quicker and the damage to the roads is not being done by the lorries.”

But David Coote said: “I suggest we stick to our guns.”

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