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Meeting a need

CLAG was formed in March this year as a response to a shock proposal by one of Europe’s largest waste management companies, Veolia, to use a sand quarry in the pretty village of Washington in West Sussex (UK) as a massive waste landfill site.

Veolia estimates that their plans would generate an additional 250-300 lorries (that’s 500-600 vehicle movements) a day, six days a week in and around the village for the next 25-30 years. Not surprisingly this is viewed as an entirely inappropriate use of the Rock Common Quarry. CLAG is actively campaigning to secure an alternative, more sustainable and environmentally sensitive future for this much-loved area of West Sussex.

Above: aerial view of Rock Common Quarry. The A283 can be seen running along the left side of the quarry. Washington village is in the background. In the foreground, to the right of the quarry is the Windmill Landfill site.

Material Facts about Rock Common Quarry
1. Rock Common Quarry is adjacent to and overlooked by Chanctonbury Ring, a well-loved tourist destination and Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. In fact, the AONB boundary runs along the southern side of the quarry.
2. The quarry is bordered by a well-known much-used camping and caravan site and a popular organic fruit farm. Within a few metres of the site are hundreds of private homes, many of which overlook the quarry.
3. The existing planning permit includes a condition that the site should be turned into a lake and nature reserve after sand extraction ceases. This would serve as a valuable and attractive amenity for the area, in return for the decades of quarrying endured, and a much more appropriate outcome for the area than a 30 year landfill. There is no mention of a rubbish tip.
4. West Sussex County Council considers the waste management needs of the county to be adequately achievable without dumping waste in Rock Common. It excluded the site from the county’s Waste Management Plan.
5. If the pumps currently discharging thousands of gallons of good quality water from the quarry into the nearby watercourse were turned off, the water level would soon rise to create a sizeable fresh water lake. This could create a valuable resource and leave rare nesting birds in peace.

Above: Chanctonbury Ring
+ More info on Chanctonbury Ring