Fundraising challenge for Crouchland protesters as public inquiry ends

Protect Our Rural Environment (PORE) supporters meet on Plaistow Village Green to oppose the activities at Crouchlands in 2015
Protect Our Rural Environment (PORE) supporters meet on Plaistow Village Green to oppose the activities at Crouchlands in 2015

The ten day inquiry into alleged unlawful expansion by Crouchland Biogas at Plaistow ended yesterday, (Monday, July 31) and campaigners now wait for the verdict of the inspector.

The cost of fighting the Crouchland appeal, which has stretched over two months, is over £50,000 and campaigners are now working to raise the funds.

The appeal by Crouchland was against an enforcement notice from Chichester District Council and also against West Sussex County Council’s refusal to grant retrospective planning permission.

The expansion is also opposed by both Kirdford and Ifold & Plaistow Parish Councils.

Final submissions must be made to the inspector by August 11 and campaigner Dave Jordan said: “we then await her decision as to whether the site can continue or whether she will require the unlawful development to be dismantled.”

He added: “Residents have been campaigning to have the unlawful development stopped and formed a protest group PORE (Protect our rural environment). At the core of objections is the inappropriate location for this industrial sized plant in such a rural location, which is deemed worthy of protection by the councils.

“It has resulted in thousands of HGVs using narrow rural lanes, in several significant pollution spills affecting waterways and it has disturbed the peace of this special part of West Sussex.”

In conjunction with the Plaistow Village Trust, the group set up a fundraising site stopcrochlandbiogas. “We hope others who believe in protecting the countryside will be prepared to make a small donation,” said Mr Jordan. “So far, it has raised almost £6,000.”

The Plaistow Village Trust, a registered charity since 1998, was set up primarily to ‘conserve the beauty, character and viability of the village of Plaistow and surrounding areas’.

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