Steyning’s Ham Farm included in new shortlist of soft sand sites

Entrance to proposed site for soft sand quarrying at Ham Farm near Steyning
Entrance to proposed site for soft sand quarrying at Ham Farm near Steyning

Steyning’s Ham Farm is one of the sites shortlisted as part of a review into the supply of soft sand in West Sussex.

A joint minerals local plan (JMLP) put together by West Sussex County Council and the South Downs National Park Authority was formally adopted last year.

The only site previously allocated for soft sand extraction was land at Ham Farm, north of the A283 near Steyning, but this sparked widespread opposition in the town due to road safety and landscape concerns.

During the JLMP’s preparation the soft sand strategy was removed and is now being developed separately after concerns were raised about the approach being taken.

As part of a soft sand review a consultation on an issues and options document is due to be held from January to March.

The document looks at three issues: the amount of sand needed, the strategy for soft sand supply and the potential sites/site selection.

A call for sites was undertaken during August and September 2018, with a long list of 21 produced.

After a review of all the sites 12 were ruled out as unsuitable for further consideration.

The remaining nine sites, which includes Ham Farm, have been shortlisted for consultation and further review.

A more detailed soft sand site selection report will be published later this month, which will include a red, amber and green assessment proformas for each site.

According to the issues and options document: “Although sites within the shortlist may be judged to be ‘acceptable in principle’ for site allocation, there is a need to identify how they should be selected, if required, in accordance with the preferred strategy.”

The results of the informal consultation will inform the preparation of the preferred strategy, which will be put out for further consultation later this year, before being submitted for independent examination.

Once adopted the changes will form part of the JMLP.

The other shortlisted sites are: Buncton Manor Farm (Washington and Wiston)

Chantry Lane - Extension (Storrington and Sullington)

Coopers Moor - Extension (Duncton)

Duncton Common - Extension (Duncton and Petworth)

East of West Heath Common - Extension (Harting)

Minsted West - Extension (Stedham with Iping)

Severals East (Woolbeding with Redford)

Severals West (Woolbeding with Redford)