I was very pleased to hear that Horsham District Council voted unanimously to reject the proposed landfill plan for Thakeham.
The No Laybrook Landfill campaign, set-up by Thakeham Village Action, has been campaigning against the plan since Cory Environmental announced the proposals in July 2008. Under the proposals 4.1 million tonnes of waste will be taken to, and then dumped, at the old Laybrook Brickworks in Thakeham.
Thakeham Village Action has listed the reasons why the proposal should not go a head here. Not only is the proposal environmentally unsound, but it is estimated that a lorry would be travelling down the B2133 (just off the A24 and between Ashington and Thakeham) every three minutes! The B2133 is a small road not meant for a large volume of HGVs thundering down the bendy, country lane.
Campaigners were able to collect more than 5,100 names to their petition against the plan, as well as 1,208 objection letters being sent to the county council to protest against the scheme.
The decision by Horsham District councilors to object the plan is a welcomed move, however, it is now down to the Conservative-run West Sussex county council to make the final decision to reject the proposal altogether and to find an alternative plan, one that puts the interests of local residents first, whilst rejecting the old solution of sending waste to landfills. West Sussex county council should be looking at zero waste proposals.
Rather than wait for the Government to take leadership on the issue, a unique opportunity exists, thanks to Thakeham Village Action and the No Laybrook Landfill campaign, for West Sussex county council to listen to residential concerns over the council’s existing approach to waste management. West Sussex county council should be looking at more sustainable, safer alternatives, such as the Materials Recycling Facility in Ford.
A new landfill at Laybrook will hamper, rather than assist, the county council’s own target to achieve a 45% recycling rate by 2015. It is unfortunate that Ford has the only Materials Recycling Facility in the whole of West Sussex, Laybrook gives West Sussex county council a unique opportunity to welcome proposals for a new recycling facility in Thakeham. Not only will this create new jobs in the green sector, it will also meet the concerns of local residents.
It is now down to West Sussex county council to show leadership on the issue of waste management and to seek alternatives to damaging and unsustainable landfills by rejecting the Cory Environmental proposal for Laybrook.