Controversial quarry owners set to reveal future plans

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Plans by owners of a quarry over the future of their operations in a Sussex village are to be revealed next week.

Concerns have been expressed by residents in West Hoathly about heavy lorries to and from the quarry rumbling through their historic village.

The residents say that the lorries are large, noisy, dirty, and frequently get ‘stuck’ in the village’s narrow streets.

They fear that the village’s conservation area is being damaged.

Now the operators of Lambs Philpots Quarry are to stage an exhibition of their plans at West Hoathly Primary School on July 19.

The exhibition - billed as ‘Options for the future of Philpots Quarry’ - will be held between 5-9pm when local residents will have a chance to have their say.

In a statement, Philpots say: “Philpots Quarry operates in a manner which is fully compliant with West Sussex County Council’s planning conditions.

“However, we also appreciate that lorries frequently passing through the village of West Hoathly to and from the quarry have caused understandable concern.

“We are therefore at an early stage in considering the future of the quarry with both local and commercial considerations in mind.”

Previously, residents have dubbed one particularly badly-affected area - Church Hill in West Hoathly - as ‘Hell Corner.’

Dr John Ralph said that the amount of traffic had been increasing.

“It has recently become even more ‘hellish’ due to greatly increased articulated HGV traffic to and from Philpots Quarry. Some of these vehicles are up to 18 metres long.”

And parish councillor Anne Halligey said: “The trouble is the lorries are so big they are damaging the fabric of the conservation area. They get stuck.

“They are enormous vehicles and they simply can’t get through the village.”

Philpots Quarry in West Hoathly is said to be the sole remaining source of natural Wealden Sussex sandstone.

Its parent company, Lambs, has existed since Victorian times and makes hand-made bricks, walling and other masonry and prides itself on its expert craftsmen.