PLANS to increase the number of lorries travelling through the centre of Midhurst to Pendean quarry have raised fears of added pollution and damage to road surfaces.
Now town councillors are set to discuss the problems at a planning meeting and raise objections to the proposal from Inert Recycling which will be decided by the South Downs National Park Authority.
Their consultants say there are more than 10,000 vehicle movements a day on Rumbolds Hill and so 100 more trucks will not have that significant an impact
Nigel Cheshire told them he had attended a Pendean Sand Quarry liaison meeting.
He said Inert had applied to increase the number of lorries through Midhurst daily from a maximum of 21 to a maximum of 75.
From the company’s own records, he said the liaison meeting was told it had been exceeding current daily limits in the six months to October 2014, with 135 recorded on October 1.
“The national park issued a breach of conditions notice and it appears the number has reduced but not to where it is supposed to be and in the meantime there is this application to increase the numbers.”
Inert said the increase would shorten the timescale of the six-year permission to backfill the quarry with imported inert waste.
“Market conditions are such that there is a lot of material around,” reported Mr Cheshire, “and Inert say that having the flexibility to ship more in means they could compete the project in less time than they have been allowed.”
But he said there was an issue with the impact of the lorries on Midhurst and in particular on Rumbolds Hill.
“Their consultants say there are more than 10,000 vehicle movements a day on Rumbolds Hill and so 100 more trucks will not have that significant an impact.”
In addition, said Mr Cheshire, Inert claimed their lorries were all to the highest European emissions standards.
But he told Midhurst town councillors most of the people around the table at the liaison meeting were from West Lavington and felt they wanted the infilling carried out as quickly as possible, ‘and they were supportive of more HGVs on the basis that it would be done quicker’.
Fellow town councillor Gordon McAra said the argument that more lorries meant a quicker end to the infilling was an ‘enormous con’.
In reality he said it would take ‘eight or probably ten years to complete and we as the Midhurst community are taking the brunt of it’.
He said not only was there pollution from the lorries, but the road surface on Rumbolds Hill was deteriorating badly.
In addition to the lorry movement planning application, Mr Cheshire said Inert had submitted ‘scoping’ plan to the park as a precursor to an application to change the angle of the slope in the Pendean quarry from 1:3 to 1:4, ‘which would mean more material would be needed to be brought in’.
Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.
Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.
1) Make our website your homepage at www.midhurstandpetworth.co.uk/
2) Like our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/MidhurstandPetworthObserver
3) Follow us on Twitter @mid_pet_obs
4) Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.
And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!
The Midhurst and Petworth Observer - always the first with your local news.
Be part of it.