Following a decision made by Councillors at last week’s Virtual Full Council Meeting, Arundel Town Council has submitted an objection to the Ford Energy Recovery Facility planning application (WSCC/036/20) on the following grounds:
- The impact that an industrial building of this size and massing would have on an otherwise rural landscape is enormous and the height of the chimney would be clearly visible from both Arundel Castle and the South Downs, which are Arundel’s most valuable assets. This would have a significant detrimental effect on Arundel’s appeal to visitors resulting in a negative impact on Arundel’s economy.
- The scheme has the potential to cause a significant adverse impact upon the landscape and character of the wider area, as well as to adversely affect the setting of a number of heritage assets. The beauty of the SDNP would be seriously compromised and will have substantial adverse impacts on views and experiential qualities of the National Park and its setting. For example, the proposal will be highly visible in panoramic views of the Arun Valley/coastal plain from National Trail (the South Downs Way) and other public rights of way across the National Park.
- The increased volume of traffic theoretically should comply to the traffic flow restrictions and follow the Southern route but traffic northwards into Arundel would inevitably be increased even further if this huge plant were to be given permission to be constructed. Our roads would be further populated by lorries delivering ever increasing loads to burn from an ever-increasing distance.
- The application does not comply with the Ford Neighbourhood Plan Development Policies and Arun District Council’s Housing Policy. Since 2012 Ford Neighbourhood team have been working towards a ‘village development’ and agreed a plan of 1545 homes on this site 30% of which are affordable. It includes a two-form entry primary school and large Community Building. It is difficult to see why people would buy a house adjacent to the ERF, putting housing supply strategy for the whole of this part of West Sussex in an even worse position.
- The Environment Bill makes a clear commitment to set an ambitious, legally binding target for the pollutant with the most significant impact on human health – fine particulate matter which results from incineration. The prevailing wind in this area is south-west so this noxious and harmful output that would arise from incineration will be heading straight for Arundel. This application should at the very least be prohibited until the conditions being made law are confirmed by Parliament and this application is further reviewed in far greater depth using what will be new guidelines and long-term environmental damage can be prevented.