Residents fear disused quarry plans nightmare

Homes on the narrow approach to the entrance of Filching Quarry
Homes on the narrow approach to the entrance of Filching Quarry

RESIDENTS gather tonight (April 8) in a show of defiance against plans to dump almost 700,000 tons of landfill in a disused quarry near a quiet hamlet.

Campaigners say the proposals will turn Filching into a highway for huge rubble-carrying lorries, ruining residents’ quality of life and crippling small businesses as 136,000 tons of landfill is tipped into the 56-metre deep chalk quarry for the next five years.

If plans to fill in Filching Quarry get the green light, 32-ton heavy goods vehicles will rumble through Polegate, Wannock and narrow Jevington Road 52 times a day, five days a week.

The lorries will also make 26 journeys every Saturday between 2012 and 2017.

One resident has warned the dump could contaminate water supplies for the surrounding area for the next 50 years.

Residents have already flooded East Sussex County Council with objections about increased traffic, noise, dust and danger to pedestrians and horse riders.

They also said two trucks would find it impossible to pass on narrow Jevington Road on the approach to the quarry.

Campaign group Filching Landfill Action Group (FLAG) has a meeting at Wannock Village Hall at 7pm. It hopes to muster support, explain how the plans will affect residents and advise them on how to make their objections heard. The applicant claims Filching Quarry needs to be filled for residents’ safety.

Jasmine Gayton, of FLAG, lives just 25 metres from the quarry and a few paces from the gate entrance. If the council approves the plans, lorries will plague her doorstep from 7.30am until 5pm, Monday to Friday, until 2017 and will be the alarm clock to her weekend as they pile in at 7.30am on Saturday.

“It would stop us going into our garden for the next five years and stop us having uninterrupted access to our house.

“It will be absolutely dreadful with the noise levels and the dust from the lorries going in and out,” said the 60-year-old.

The quarry has been left derelict for the past 21 years after it was deemed too dangerous to work in.

She said, “The quarry is not dangerous to anyone, other than to those who work there. So it doesn’t affect anyone. It’s just going to make a mess of the quarry and the South Downs.”

Her partner David Chappell, 60, said, “There are little old ladies who will be absolutely terrified of taking their dogs for a walk or sitting outside because of the noise and the dust. Our quality of life around here would be zero for the next five years.”

The public consultation ends on May 6 when the council will consider the application in full.