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CPRE Sussex and residents demand answers over Toxic Cloud threatening Sussex Beauty Spots.

Monday, 16 April 2018 19:06

CPRE Sussex is demanding a full investigation into the cocktail of chemicals which may soon be discharged into the air just outside the Sussex High Weald AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty).

The haulage company, Britaniacrest wants to build an incinerator to burn toxic materials at Wealden Brickworks near Horsham. The process will emit greenhouse gases, acidic gases, heavy metals and poisons into the atmosphere just west of the Sussex High Weald AONB. The site is also upwind of one of the County’s most densely populated areas (Crawley and Horley), and of a number of important drinking water reservoirs (Ardingly, Wierwood and Bewl Water).

CPRE Sussex’s Dr Roger Smith is warning that the list of substances involved reads like “an environmental horror story.” They include heavy metals such as arsenic and mercury which are cumulative and could cause irreversible damage to the environment and human health when they come to ground.

“The cumulative impact of dioxins and of any other persistent pollutants emitted by the facility, after coming to earth, seems not to have been assessed,” he says.

“Mapping, showing where pollutants emitted by the proposed facility would come to earth and the extent of resulting ground fall/downwind-hazard areas ought to have been provided for public scrutiny, as part of the consultation. However, the data submitted with this application was obtained at Charlwood, eight miles to the north, and not from the site of the proposed facility.”

CPRE Sussex is now demanding a full investigation into how and where the pollutants emitted by the facility, individually, collectively, and cumulatively over time, could or would impact on farmland and livestock and the natural environment, including habitats, biodiversity and ecology.

“We take the air we breathe and the water we drink for granted,” adds Dr Smith, “but this proposal puts both at risk.”

Britaniacrest’s plans also include a vast 95m chimney which, say campaigners would have a far reaching visual impact, blighting the countryside for miles around.

“By the company’s own admission the incinerator will be seen for miles around,” says CPRE Sussex Director, Kia Trainor. “This would blight the natural beauty of vast areas of rural landscape within Sussex and Surrey.”

“CPRE Sussex believes that to permit such a monstrous industrial incinerator in the heart of Sussex countryside would inflict far reaching environmental damage and should be refused by the County Council.”

The campaign against Britaniacrest’s proposal is now gathering pace with a well attended public march in Horsham on Saturday (April, 14).

CPRE Sussex is now urging people to formally object before the deadline for comments next week (April 28). Objections can be made via the West Sussex County Council website using the planning reference: WSCC/015/18/NH. The CPRE Sussex responses can be downloaded below.

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