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Bell Pottinger North - Client News
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
News Release: Company Withdraws Ewhurst Brickworks

16th May 2006

Company Withdraws Ewhurst Brickworks As Potential Landfill Site

At the inaugural meeting of the recently reconstituted Community Liaison Committee for Ewhurst Brickworks last Thursday evening, Wienerberger tabled a letter to the County Council dated 4th May 2006, stating that the company 'does not consider the site as being suitable for use as a landfill'.

Reiterating the point made repeatedly by company spokespersons over recent weeks, the letter stated that '(the company's) primary objective for the site continues as a viable brick making production site' and points out that recent assessment and drilling have shown 'significant mineral reserves' in the base of the existing quarry. The statement goes on to say that 'the winning of these reserves would be incompatible with land-filling of the site at this stage or in the foreseeable future'.

Liaison Committee members also received copies of a response from the Head of Minerals and Waste and Surrey County Council, dated 10th May 2006, which confirms that 'the County Council will not include Ewhurst as a proposed landfill site' within its Waste Plan. Both the County Council and Wienerberger will continue to work together on the preparation of a master plan for the long-term management and eventual restoration of the site.

Commenting on the news, local resident and chair of the Ewhurst Liaison Committee, Rosemary Thompson said: "This is excellent news for all of us living in the vicinity of the Wienerberger factory. We are delighted that the company has taken note of local concerns regarding this proposal and taken our concerns on board. We have a history of working constructively with those operating the Ewhurst site and I hope that we can now move forward in a spirit of mutual cooperation and goodwill."

Wienerberger's Production Director Pat Furr agrees: "As a company we own some 240 factories across the world. Although we felt that we should consider all potential eventualities in preparing our masterplan for the future of our Ewhurst site, landfill was never one of our preferred options. I hope that the company response to local concerns has demonstrated our willingness to listen and our collaborative approach. Now that the dialogue has been resumed, we hope to continue to engage in an open and constructive debate with the local community on other planned developments for the site."

As part of the meeting, Liaison Committee members - who include representatives from all local Parish, District and County Councils as well as 3 community representatives - adopted a formal constitution, agreed a standard agenda and received an update on other aspects of the works, including transport and environmental issues.

For further information on the workings of the Liaison Committee, please contact your local Parish Council representative.

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Press contact: Deborah Garritty / Emily Goehler at Bell Pottinger North
01625 506444


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