Woolbeding with Redford Parish Council and Bepton Parish Council have written jointly to Lord Cowdray about the proposed inclusion of the sites at Severals East and West in the Soft Sand Review. The Review is being carried out by West Sussex County Council (WSCC)
and the South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA).
The sites are owned by the Cowdray Estate and within Woolbeding with Redford Parish. However, their proximity to Bepton makes them of particular interest to residents of Bepton. Both Parish Councils are opposed to the development of the sites as sand quarries and will be making their representations as part of the consultation exercise (which closes on 18th March). Both Parishes have had well-attended public meetings which were unanimously opposed to the prospect of sand quarries at the Severals.
The letter, signed by both Adrian Hearle, Chair of Woolbeding with Redford PC, and Howard Ewing, Chair of Bepton PC, says,
” As you can imagine, the threat of turning the Severals into two giant sand quarries is causing great consternation for residents living in the area in both of our Parishes, as well as the neighbouring parishes of Midhurst and Stedham. It is fair to say that passions are running very high with local residents who have lived with the threat of sand quarrying here for some time. Because the sites have been rejected in, at least, the last two plans, people had thought the matter was closed. There is great anger and puzzlement that the sites are now being promoted again by the local estate. Both of our Parishes have had lively well-attended public meetings at which local residents expressed their unanimous opposition to the proposals.
This area is much loved by locals as an amenity with its many footpaths, wildlife and natural habitat. It connects with Midhurst Common and people come from neighbouring areas to walk in a pleasant countryside atmosphere. This will be destroyed by sand extraction. There are a number of houses in Bepton which will be directly affected. But the most serious impact will be on Severals House which would be completely surrounded by the quarries.”
A copy of the letter is here: Cowdray letter 1 Feb 2019.