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Abinger Parish Council

Brickworks Community Liaison Committee

Abinger Parish Council Brickworks Community Liaison Committee

A meeting of the Ewhurst Brickworks Community Liaison Committee was held on 27th February 2018 at Wienerberger’s visitors’ centre.

There was no update on timings for the outstanding planning application to be heard by Surrey County Council’s planning committee.  SCC were still awaiting responses from the numerous organisations that have been contacted about the submissions as well as awaiting answers from Wienerberger for additional information.  The feeling was that the hearing will take place during the summer.

To remind you, the main issues of concern raised by the community in relation to the planning submission were traffic, the location of the tile factory and emissions from the new factory.  Wienerberger have produced a statement to respond to these which is appended to the end of this article.

Traffic issues are still problematic with many lorries still continuing to stray from the designated routes to and from the site.  An additional directional sign has been installed opposite the factory gate and the site staff remain diligent in enforcing the agreed protocol with drivers but some still ignore these efforts.  It is important that the incorrect use of the routes continue to be reported to the site as unless they are they cannot be rectified – please email Ewhurst.Transport@wienerberger.com as soon as you see an indiscretion with brief details (ideally the time, vehicle registration number and company name).  Site staff will then meet the erring driver.

A transport sub committee, which includes members of the logistics team from Wienerberger, has been set up to try to address the traffic issues.  The committee met in December 2017 when a list of actions was drawn up.  A follow-up meeting is planned for May 2018 to progress these.  However Wienerberger have said they are not prepared to take the movement of their bricks and tiles in-house when they would have very much more control over the management of the lorry drivers, preferring to work with their contracted hauliers to minimise operational issues. 

The company have however agreed to support any requests for a 30mph speed restriction in the area and will try to supply speed data that would have been collected as part of their traffic survey in preparation for their planning submission.

The new scrubber for the current brick kiln (to reduce the level of hydrogen fluoride emissions) is now fully operational.  Mole Valley District Council confirmed that emissions are within acceptable levels.  There will be a further set of emissions tests before resuming the annual test cycle required as part of the site’s operational requirements. 

The committee was advised that a screening request was being submitted imminently on behalf of Wienerberger to Waverley Borough Council for the 6-7 acres of the old Ewhurst brickworks site which would include a development of 128 houses.  It would be submitted under “previously developed land” as there are still some structures in place.  More information will be passed on about this when it becomes available.

The next meeting of the liaison committee will be held on 12th June 2018.

Rosemary Thompson  - Chairman of Ewhurst Brickworks Community Liaison Committee

Ewhurst Community Liaison Committee

Following the planning application drop-in session held on 11th September 2017, three topics emerged as key concerns held by members of the community. Wienerberger’s response to each is outlined below.


The number of HGVs using the route has increased since the Ewhurst factory re-opened in 2015 however, it remains within levels permitted by the existing planning permission and the new planning application does not seek to change the volume currently permitted. It is estimated there would be an additional 16 HGV movements per day (8 return journeys) compared to current operations. Wienerberger understand the need to carefully manage HGV movements in and out of the Ewhurst brickworks to ensure the safety of other road users and to minimise disruption. Following the drop-in session, the Ewhurst Community Liaison Committee has formed a specific task-group to identify additional traffic calming measures which will be reported in subsequent newsletter updates.  

Location of the tile factory

Members of the local community requested that Wienerberger consider moving the proposed tileworks to reduce the visual impact of the development. Wienerberger have advised that relocating the tileworks to the area favoured by residents would not be possible because this would involve removing semi-natural ancient woodland (SNAW). Wienerberger explained that removing SNAW is against planning policy and is very unlikely to receive support from other stakeholders who have submitted objections regarding the removal of an 8m strip of SNAW, despite the planning application safeguarding 20 hectares of semi-natural ancient woodland overall.

Emissions from the tileworks

Emissions to air from Ewhurst brickworks are regulated by Mole Valley District Council through the factory’s Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) permit. These regulations would also apply to the proposed tileworks. Therefore, emissions from the roof tile manufacturing process would be passed through an emission ‘scrubber’ before being discharged to the atmosphere via a 28m chimney.  The chimney stack height has been calculated by Wienerberger’s engineering team, using methodology stated in national guidelines (HMIP 1993, Guidelines on Discharge Stack Heights for Polluting Emission. Technical Guidance Note D1) to safeguard against short-term air quality impacts for any pollutant species. The brickworks’ existing chimney stack is 29 metres high, so the chimney stack of the proposed tileworks (28 metres) will not exceed the height of the existing buildings.