Sand quarrying at Fittleworth: fears on lorry traffic remain

A public exhibition explaining a proposal to quarry sand at a site near Fittleworth has failed to allay worries over the lorry traffic it would create.

Residents have learned the 'low-intensity surface sand extraction' would mean a target figure of 1.5m tonnes being quarried and transported from the Horncroft site over a 20-year period.

The operation will involve 40 lorry movements a day, five-and-a-half days a week, with 20-tonne lorries arriving empty at the pit and leaving with their loads.

Doubts have been voiced about an assurance lorries would not be allowed to travel through Fittleworth but would be directed south to the A29.

Sir Sebastian Anstruther and his Barlavington Estate project team held the exhibition at Fittleworth village hall prior to submitting a sand extraction application to West Sussex County Council, the minerals authority.

The Horncroft site, at present a farm field, was dropped four years ago from a county council shortlist.

The Barlavington Estate proposal involves construction of a new access road off the B2138.

Anthony Poole, chairman of Fittleworth Parish Council, said the HGV issue was prominent.

"They are talking about 1.5m tonnes and there is no doubt they have got that sand. Nor is there any doubt it is good sand," Dr Poole said.

"Our main concern at Fittleworth remains traffic. We cannot believe they can guarantee their lorries will not come through Fittleworth.

"Even if they are directed to the A29, if they want to go west they will come back via Pulborough and through The Fleet at Fittleworth. We cannot see how they can avoid that."

Other neighbouring parishes such as Bury, Sutton and Barlavington, and Coldwaltham could also be affected, depending on where the sand was being taken, Dr Poole warned.

The parishes have been told that residents' comments from the exhibition will be taken into consideration in finalising the application to the county.

Dr Poole said: "The local parishes have had a quick get-together. When the application goes in, we will put our heads together about whether or not we support it."

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