Bepton residents and those from nearby got together yesterday evening to plan their action in protest against the proposed new sand quarries at The Severals. The sites are contained in the joint SDNPA/WSCC list of potential sites for Minerals Extraction.
Local resident Katherine Steele organised the meeting and got a great response at short notice. As a result, a action group is being set up to complement and enhance the work being down by the Parish Council. The meeting was a lively affair and a great example of community participation. The level of concern was evident as well as the palpable disbelief that the National Park could have gone along with proposing these sites. If you want to get involved, contact Katherine Steele (email@example.com) or any of your Parish Councillors (contact details here).
Katherine sent the following email after the meeting to a wide group including those attending:
Really great to see so many Bepton and surrounding residents come out this evening at such short notice.
Thank you to Kathy at Country Inn Pub for hosting.
Thank you Lavinia Milner from Bepton Parish Council for speaking.
In summary the key actions raised are as follows:
ACTION NUMBER 1 – Write to West Sussex County Council a personal Objection letter and complete the response form by 22nd September- all links and how to access this are available on http://www.bepton.org website
ACTION NUMBER 2 – attend Parish open meeting on 25th September at 7pm at Park House Hotel
Key Points Raised:
- This was refused before – Question what has changed since then? Why should this be a site even considered? Grounds that it was refused last time? This should be published somewhere so all can see it
- Should not refer to it as sand pit as it sounds small – should refer to it as quarry
- Contact/write letters to Lord Cowdray land agents are Smiths Gore Chief Executive is Jonathan Russell(he just joined in August)
- Contact make yourself known down at SDNP in Midhurst and write to them too
- Contact/Canvass make yourself known to MP Andrew Tyrie
- Midhurst and Petworth Observer article coming out next week with Howard Ewing providing input – Jenny Mouland
- Make copies of attached flyer and put it everywhere!
- Make comments on the SDNP forum on minerals – set up a new discussion for Bepton? (see link below)
- Facebook Page definitely and quickly to get it going before deadline of 22nd
- People who have Media contacts will inform Howard Ewing of help they can offer i.e. introductions to BBC – documentary?
- Is it worth setting up a Focus Group to help communicate and co-ordinate issues and actions surrounding this topic with all three parishes – National Trust etc? Martin Critchell of Severals House to contact Howard Ewing directly to discuss
- Is there a wild orchid or other endangered/ protected species on the common?
- Has contact been made with West Sussex Wildlife? (NB – Parish Council has already been in touch withSussex Wildlife Trust)
- Other species- Night Jars, Adders, Slow Worm, Red Kites, Bats
- Health Issues associated with drilling and excavation of sand – Silicon dust?? Worth seeing if there are any European cases of this? Can someone do some research?
- Signs, banners should go in shops and all public places around Midhurst and Bepton – The Grange, Budgens etc etc again very soon before deadline of 22nd comes closer
Please feel free to pass this on to other Bepton residents and surrounding area residents – importantly to encourage all people within all three parishes Bepton, Wooldbeding, Stedham and Iping to work together with fighting this.
Please reply with further comments, suggestions to Howard Ewing Chair of Bepton Parish Council copying all on the distribution list and adding in other people who you feel may wish to join.
With Kind regards