Horsham incinerator: Council ‘will not defend’ 5 out of 6 reasons for refusal

Having turned down plans to build a massive incinerator north of Horsham on multiple grounds West Sussex County Council will now only be raising one objection to the scheme, it has emerged.

Campaigners were delighted when plans were rejected by West Sussex County Council last year
Campaigners were delighted when plans were rejected by West Sussex County Council last year

Britaniacrest Recycling has lodged an appeal over a decision to reject its plans to create a Recycling, Recovery and Renewable energy facility at the former Wealden Brickworks in Langhurstwood Road. For more on the plans see here: All you need to know about Horsham incinerator plans

The application was rejected by county councillors after six major issues with the scheme were raised.

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However, the county council has now said it will not be defending five of the six reasons for refusal during the appeal process.

In an email to a concerned member of the public - seen by the County Times - the council said it had sought legal advice as it looked to draft its response to the appeal.

Initially councillors had rejected the scheme over concerns including; the need for the facility, the impact on the districts roads, concerns over public health, the impact on residents, the impact both the scheme and the North Horsham development would have together on residents, and the impact on the landscape and visual amenity.

The council confirmed it would now only be appealing on the impact of the build on the landscape as there was ‘no evidence’ to support its other concerns.

On the issue of whether the facility was needed it said the site was allocated in its West Sussex Waste Local Plan which ‘demonstrates there is an identified and quantified need for the waste management capacity that the facility would provide’.

The refusal over the impact on highways will no longer be defended as the development ‘would not’ involve an increase in heavy goods vehicles over the amount already permitted. For this reason the council said it also found no evidence that the facility would have a negative impact on residents even with the combined creation of North Horsham.

Concerns over the unacceptable impact on public health will also not be defended as the council said there had been no objections raised by the environmental health officer, Public Health England or the Environment Agency.

Despite not defending several of its refusals the county council will still defend its concerns over the impact of the build on the countryside stating the scheme will cause an ‘unacceptable impact on landscape and the visual amenity of the area’.

Campaigners battling the proposals are set to hold a meeting on Saturday (February 9) with a chance for residents to quiz experts and ask questions on the appeal.

The county council said it was ‘unable to comment’ on its decision as it was a ‘live appeal’.