Brexit isn’t the only thing with a deadline this month. You have only a fortnight to respond to the consultation exercise on the Soft Sand Review which includes two sand quarries at Severals East and Severals West.
How can I make my views known? Complete the form which you will find here. It may look daunting and it does ask technical questions. If you don’t feel able to complete these, don’t worry. Just complete Q.5 about the Severals sites. But don’t forget to include your personal details at Section A. And we are told that they will accept an email reply. The email address to send your comments is :
There is more information in these pages on this website about how to respond.
As mentioned in previous posts, local residents from Bepton and Woolbeding have formed a campaign group to argue against the proposed Severals East and Severals West Soft Sand Quarry Sites.
The sites are included in the consultation of Issues and Options of the joint South Downs National Park Authority/West Sussex County Council Minerals Plan (Soft Sand Review).
The campaign group have covered a large amount of ground and have provided us with a summary of what they have done, which will be of interest to Bepton residents.
” Katherine Steele said: We are grateful to Bepton PC for allowing us to publish, on their website, this summary of our action.
So far, we have :-
formed Severals Against Cowdray Quarries Group;
co-ordinated efforts with Bepton and Woolbeding with Redford PCs and are now engaged with Trotton, Stedham & Rogate PCs;
welcomed the letter which the Chairs of Woolbeding with Redford PC and Bepton PC wrote to Lord Cowdray, although we were disappointed with the response;
provided material to update info on the Bepton PC website;
used our resources to better understand the analysis underpinning the Consultation Document. For example, going through the RAG document (red, amber, green) with input from experts – environment, geology, flora and fauna etc and engaged with the Minsted minerals expert. This will help inform responses from individuals and the Parish Councils;
attended two Midhurst Town Council Meetings – they will now robustly oppose & write to Cowdray;
written to Lord and Lady Cowdray, Trevor Beattie CEO SDNPA, the National Trust and the Sussex Wildlife Trust. The latter two organisations have said that they will oppose;
had excellent support from our WSCC Councillor Dr. Kate O’Kelly, who has facilitated a meeting with our local MP, Gillian Keegan, with a Councillor from each of the five local Parish Council, Midhurst Town Council &, of course, our County Councillor;
created and distributed 2,700 “Say No” leaflets through the Midhurst Local; handed them out at the Severals, to Doctors and local cafes;
placed “Say No” posters at strategic places;
created a Facebook Page “Stop The Quarries” – regularly updated by social media expert and us; and
engaged with the Midhurst & Petworth Observer resulting in several articles: Parish Councillors and WSC Councillor working together; poor negative response from Cowdray Estate to parishes letter to Lord Cowdray; and one describing the plight of
the Gibson family at Severals House.
We are also proposing an article about pollution monitoring and specifically the higher pollution levels due to increased lorry numbers. And we are organising a petition.
We would welcome any feedback, help, technical expertise, or contributions. Contact Katherine Steele. “
Bepton PC will try to keep you updated on developments through this site. Previous posts give links to the consultation document and information on how to respond. As ever we welcome feedback.
Local residents are working hard to oppose the Severals Sand Quarries.
A number of Bepton residents, and two Bepton Parish Councillors, attended the Planning Committee of Midhurst Town Council to make known that they oppose the proposed Sand Quarries at the Severals. Both Philippa McCullough and Katherine Steele, who are co-ordinating local views, spoke at the meeting. They were pleased to note that Midhurst Town Council agreed to oppose the proposals. They have also been in touch with a number of people and bodies and will be publishing an information leaflet soon.
Bepton Parish Council’s latest BPC – Winter 2018-2019 Newsletter focuses on the issue and lets people know how they can make their responses.
Both Bepton Parish Council and the local campaign group welcome any thoughts or expertise to help in formulating their responses to the consultation. Contact any of the Councillors or email Katherine Steel.
We have had feedback that people are finding the request for responses to the Joint SDNPA/WSCC Soft Sand Review a little off-putting. The way the questions are framed is quite technical and we have been asked how can people respond to these without being an expert.
While SDNPA/WSCC would prefer people to complete their on-line form, they have said that they will accept letters & emails which contain representations and views on the proposals. However, although the form might appear daunting, it is worth looking at Question 5 of the form, which asks:
“Do you have any comments on the nine shortlisted sites identified in the Issues and Options Consultation Document?”
That question will allow you to put views forward on the sites we have focused on: Severals East and Severals West. You can, of course, comment on any of the other sites.
In case it is useful, here’s a link to a 2014 post which includes a further link (bpc-response-to-mss-26-sept-v-2 ) to Bepton PC’s response the previous time these sites were proposed. Locals might recall that, about that time, there was a notice at the Severals heralding the work that Cowdray and SDNPA were doing on creating a Heathland Corridor.
That notice is no longer there and it appears that the Severals are no longer part of that project.
If you have any queries about this, please don’t hesitate to contact one of the Parish Councillors.
Councillor Kate O’Kelly (West Sussex County Council), Councillor Adrian Hearle (Chair, Woodford with Redford PC), and Councillor Howard Ewing (Chair, Bepton PC) met at the Severals yesterday to look at the area to be affected and discuss working together on opposing turning Severals East and West into sand quarries.
They were joined by local resident Katherine Steele who lives nearby and has been through all of this before.
Photo courtesy of Philippa McCullough (l to r: Katherine Steele, Howard Ewing, Kate O’Kelly & Adrian Hearle)
“Words cannot express how disappointed I am at finding myself in this position again. They were refused within a previous soft sand study due to deliverability issues and then not found suitable within the more recent joint minerals plan. Now they are back. I know that I am not alone in holding the opinion that this is always a threat that hangs over us.
What is here is actually already a beautiful existing area. I can’t imagine standing on the top of “Sunset hill” looking down onto a working quarry for the next however many years. What will happen to the wild life? What will happen to we residents who will be exposed to the devastation and pollution? What will happen to the already creaking infrastructure of roads through the villages around Midhurst and beyond? An area of outstanding natural beauty, it would no longer be!”
Photo courtesy of Philippa McCullough
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.