Rock star Mike Rutherford has thrown his weight behind the fight to protect woodland in the rural West Sussex village of Loxwood. Locals opposing a clay pit and construction waste recycling plant will be campaigning this weekend.
Loxwood Clay Pits Ltd has submitted a planning application to West Sussex County Council to create a clay quarry and construction materials recycling facility in Pallinghurst Woods, in an area criss-crossed by public footpaths and bridleways, well used by horse riders, cyclists and walkers.
The plans have met with huge local opposition, with campaigners arguing that the area is a greenfield site with established native woodland that provides an invaluable wildlife habitat. They have also raised concerns about the increase in HGV movements on rural roads.
The Genesis and Mike and the Mechanics guitarist will join other campaigners at the proposed entrance to the site at the lay-by on the Loxwood Road at RH14 0RW on Saturday 7th August between 10am and 12 noon to speak out about the impact the 33-year project could have on the local community and environment.
Rutherford, who was elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010, has lived in Loxwood for the past 40 years and said he feared the plans would “destroy the countryside and woodland”. He added: “The change locally would be so incredibly bad that I think it’s important we try and stop it.”
The project is being opposed by the Stop Loxwood Clay Pit team, a large group of local volunteers including experienced and successful ecology campaigners, who aim to uncover the relevant policy-related reasons to object to any planning application that could affect the woodlands and surrounding countryside.
Campaigners will be meeting near the proposed site at Pallinghurst Woods, as well as Loxwood Post Office and Church Street in Rudgwick every Saturday for the next four weeks. They will also be at the Loxwood Fete on August 21st.
All images (c)Mike Burnell