Cautious welcome to brickworks statement
CAMPAIGNERS fighting plans to create a landfill facility at Ashdown Brickworks have welcomed an assurance from new county waste firm Onyx South Downs that they have no interest in the site.
Managing Director Alastair Pettigrew told the Observer his company is not looking to develop Ashdown Brickworks for landfill and has made other arrangements to ship rubbish outside the county when current sites at Pebsham and Beddingham run out in the next 3-5 years.
He was commenting after being awarded the 1bn contract to deal with waste disposal in EAst Sussex for the next 25 years.
The proposal to develop the Turkey Road site, currently owned by Ibstock, is in the county council's waste local plan, but Mr Pettigrew added: "The future of the brickworks is out of our hands and we've certainly not been party to any talks about developing it for landfill.
"We are adequately provisioned and we can live without new landfill sites. Ashdown Brickworks is certainly not central to our thinking."
Irena Massarella, chairman of Bexhill Against Landfill and Incineration (BALI), the pressure group formed to oppose the county council plans, said she was encouraged by Mr Pettigrew's comments but the fight must continue.
She added: "It's reassuring to hear the new waste contractors Onyx saying something like that. I read about it in the Observer last week and residents have been asking me how does this affect our campaign and the answer is not a bit.
"It's still as relevant now as it ever has been despite Onyx's assurances and this is certainly not the time to take our foot off the pedal.
"We are still campaigning to have the proposals removed from the Waste Local Plan because if they remain in we will still have the prospect of landfill at Ashdown Brickworks hanging over our heads for the next 25 years."