Last week’s Bepton Parish Council meeting was standing room only as people gathered to express their concern about the proposals for sand extraction at Severals East and West. The attendees were unanimous in their opposition and agreed that they would fight them.
As a statutory consultee, Bepton Parish Council will be making a formal response and the Council will be working on that to make sure it is submitted before the deadline of 18th March 2019. Residents were encouraged to read the various documents which could be found here and respond. The Parish Council has circulated the material from the response to the last consultation when the same sites were proposed and rejected.
The proposed sites at the Severals are actually in the Parish of Woolbeding with Redford. So, yesterday evening Bepton Parish Councillors, local Bepton residents and representatives of the Midhurst Society and the Friends of Midhurst Common attended the Woolbeding with Redford Parish Council meeting. Like the Bepton PC meeting, it was well attended and the focus was on how best to object to the proposals.
Amongst other things, it was agreed to set up a small group to share information and work on responses. Woolbeding with Redford would talk to Stedham and to those already involved in looking at the proposed Minsted site, to see what could be learned. There is a lot of work to be done to ensure that well considered responses are submitted by 18th March 2019.
Finally, people have been discussing what else that they could do. Suggestions have included a writing campaign. Recipients included our local MP, Gillian Keegan, local Councillors, Kate O’Kelly (WSCC) & Caroline Neville (CDC), the National Park, and Cowdray. Residents are very keen to ensure that people know how strongly they feel about the proposals.
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Having just been made aware of the quarry proposals by receiving a leaflet through the door I am incensed and impassioned to protest against it. I have gone onto the westsussex.gov/mwdf site and scrolled to response form, I have filled out my personal details, and gone straight to question 5 to put my comments. However, I’m concerned: is it OK to leave all other questions unanswered (does that make my response less valid?), and how best do I respond to Question 5? I want be actively campaigning to get others to do the same, but I fear that that there needs to be a simpler way for people (who do care) to make their voice heard. I would suggest that there be an easy copy and paste answer for people to access to answer this question without spending too much time (time being the ultimate obstacle to people responding even if they do care), and more highlight to the fact that they can just scroll to question 5 without worrying about the rest.
Anna – thanks for taking the time to comment. You are right that the form is daunting and covers very technical aspects. Our understanding is that the form doesn’t have to be fully completed and this won’t make your response less valid. Of course, a fuller response will carry more weight if it is evidenced and addresses the planning authorities’ questions. However, please don’t be put off. On these pages you’ll find the outline of Bepton PC’s response the previous time. The points are still valid. Also on here you’ll find the contact details of Katherine Steele, a Bepton resident, who is a contact point for the local campaign group. The group also has a Facebook page.
Howard – your answer makes a start on this but still doesn’t help in dealing with the more technical aspects of the response form. As you have pointed out a well referenced and reasoned response to each of the more technical questions (I am already stumped on B1) will carry more weight. There must be great deal of helpful detail accumulated during previous consultations and more recently for this one. A clear and simple referenced set of bullet points related to each not these questions would a great help to those who while wishing to object have neither the time Nott the bimunity to headaches to dig it all out for themselves. Help us to help you please.
Michael Blackmore, Midhurst
Michael – Thanks you for this. I am sorry for the delay but it has just come to my attention. agree with you that the consultation is difficult to respond to because it assumes a degree of technical knowledge that not many of us have. However, as a Parish Council and statutory consultee, it would not be proper for us to advise you on how to reply. There is an extract of the previous response on the pages of this blog, but I think you may have already seen that. I am sorry if you found it unhelpful. You may want to contact Katherine Steele or Philippa McCullough, who have set up a campaign group. Their contact details are: Katherine.email@example.com .
Thank you for Ms Shrives email address Howard. I am a bit surprised that you do not think it proper for you to provide more specific advice. Unless helpful guidance is provided to potential objectors it seems to me that well argued objections will be rather thin on the ground and inadequate to provide an effective response to the Estate’s well researched proposals.
Further comment by MB Apologies for the typos I missed in the 3rd line form the bottom which should have stated “neither the time nor the immunity to”