Huge community support in battle to stop clay pit and recycling plant at Loxwood

Huge community support is being given to a campaign to stop a clay pit and construction materials recycling plant being built at Loxwood.

Tuesday, 21st September 2021, 1:07 pm

More than 1,500 objections to the proposals have been lodged with West Sussex County Council and another 5,000 people have signed a protest petition.

Support for the campaign has also been given by rock legend Mike Rutherford, founder of the band Genesis, who lives in Loxwood and former fashion model and photographer Pattie Boyd.

Loxwood Clay Pits are currently seeking planning approval from the county council and a decision is expected to be made in November.

Chichester MP Gillian Keegan with Councillor Evans and members of the Stop Loxwood Clay Pit campaign group

Meanwhile, Chichester MP Gillian Keegan visited the site at Pallinghurst Woods on Sunday and listened to residents’ concerns.

They are worried that the works will entail 42 lorry movements a day to and from the site which would affect residents in Loxwood, Tismans Common, Rudgwick, Alfold, Wisborough Green, Ifold and Plaistow.

They say the whole area of Pallinghurst Woods is used extensively by walkers and there are fears that public rights of way are being proposed as lorry routes.

Loxwood district councillor Gareth Evans said: “We now hope that the WSCC Planning Committee members and officers come to visit the site, and appreciate the impact this development would have on the nearby communities and the wood itself, much of which is ancient woodland, if they gave the go ahead to the planning application.

“The planning application is not in alignment with so many national and West Sussex planning policies and I cannot see how it could be approved.”

Dr Jill Sutcliffe, spokeseperson for the campaign group Stop the Loxwood Clay Pit, said: “This is an exceptional area of mixed woodlands including a wealth of special wildlife.

“It provides a sanctuary for local residents and is much used and appreciated.

“This is a rural area which should not be subjected to an industrial process producing much disturbance, nose and disruption,”

Protected Barbastelle bats and nightingales are known to be present in the area.