Sand quarry 'scar' on South Downs National Park

South Downs National Park Image copyright Other
Image caption The South Downs became a national park in March 2010

A proposed sand quarry in the South Downs National Park would "scar" the landscape, campaigners have said.

Large amounts of sand and other minerals could be quarried near Midhurst, in West Sussex.

The consultation on the county council's joint mineral plan includes 27 sites across the county.

Several of these are in the South Downs. However, campaigners have said the Midhurst proposal will affect tourism.

Mark Coppen said: "It's going to be an immense scar the size of 30 football pitches.

"Lots of people will be able to look at it, it will be very visible... most importantly it will be highly visible from the South Downs Way, so all the tourists that come to the area to walk will be able to see right into it.

"Recently, the South Downs National Park was set up to preserve the area's natural beauty."

A public consultation on the proposals will run until 22 September.

Pieter Montyn, who is West Sussex County Council's cabinet member for highways and transport, and has responsibility for planning for minerals extraction, said: "We would like the public and industry to look at the information we have put together for each site and let us know if it is accurate.

"We are committed to involving the public in the plan-making process and listening to their views so that the final plan reflects the comments, observations and views of all relevant and interested parties."

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