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Sand quarry meeting packs out village centre

by derekdeedman on 11 May, 2016

Members of the public struggled to squeeze into The Steyning Centre on Monday evening to discuss proposals for a sand quarry in Steyning.

Around 180 people attended the meeting, which was held before Steyning’s annual parish council meeting, over a proposed plan to extract 850,000 tonnes of soft sand from Ham Farm on the edge of the South Downs National Park (SDNP).

The site is included in West Sussex County Council and the SDNP association’s Joint Minerals Local Plan, which is currently out for consultation.

Many members at the meeting were part of Save Steyning, a campaign group fighting the proposal.

The group has set up an online petition which has so far collected nearly 1,000 signatures. Members rallied outside the centre before and after the meeting.

Local Lib Dem campaigner, Jamie Counihan, one of the organisers, said: “It is good to hear the (parish) council is planning some action. However, I am disappointed the county council feels it can ignore the requests made by the community. The community is at the heart of this plan.”

Residents at the meeting felt there was no communication with the county council about the plans, and were worried an increase in lorries would endanger drivers using the A283 through Steyning.

The consultation period for the plan currently ends on June 17, but Arundel and South Downs MP Nick Herbert has written to the county council requesting an extension.

People can attend a meeting at the Steyning Centre on Saturday between 5pm and 7pm to discuss forming an action group. The county council is also hosting a drop-in session on May 23 at the centre, from 3pm to 8pm.
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