Epsom Chalk Pit Silica Dust (RCS)

The information below shows what the risks are, where you can get more information and how you can be involved. One important addition to previous posts is the petition which to date has been signed by over 3,000.

We really want to encourage all residents in the affected area to do something to support the opposition. So please act now to save the future health of all residents!

Wake Up and Smell the Silica Dust (RCS)

Proposed Materials Recycling Centre at the Chalk Pit College Road

Do you live in this area? If so read on


Residents in the College Area of Epsom became aware of waste operations in the area last summer on a site without the appropriate planning consent for the use of the site nor for new structures. Subsequently the Applicant has submitted a retrospective planning application for the proposals.

Residents need to consider the following:

  1. The Applicant has ignored planning requirements.
  1. The Applicant has ignored risk assessments and operating proposals in his planning application. This has led to significant dust issues in the area previously unseen on this scale.
  1. The application is for a site in the Green Belt, sits above a principal aquifer and is in a residential area with numerous schools.

The application is wholly inappropriate for this location with residents identifying 11 grounds for objection. The building proposed is over 600% larger than the existing open fronted structure he is replacing. . For a list of these grounds email Ken Reid at epsomchalk@btinternet.com.

Residents have raised scores of concerns regarding amongst others dust, noise, road and traffic issues and lighting with the Environment Agency, Surrey County Council, and Epsom and Ewell Borough Council. We note these activities are ongoing, which is of great concern to residents. We are advised there are new surveys and new studies ongoing. It appears profit before health!

Please follow the following where regular updates are being posted:

Ewell Downs RA | Association of Ewell Downs Residents – www.ewelldownsra.org.




The closing date for the receipt of objections for the proposed change of use and 10m high industrial buildings at the Chalk Pit is 15 March 2021. Details of the application can be found at Surrey County Council – Planning Application Display – SCC Ref 2020/0159 (surreycc.gov.uk).

This application has caused a significant concern across the Borough and neighbouring Reigate and Banstead. If you want updates do contact Ken Reid at epsomchalk@btinternet.com


A local resident has started a petition and you are encouraged to sign it if you do not want this application to go through:

Petition · Stop the Epsom Mineral Waste Recycling Plant Planning Permission · Change.org

Please sign the petition and share it with friends, families and colleagues! There are more than 3000 signatures so far.

Nuisance Caused by Silica Dust (RCS)

Residents have advised of significant dust following the recent fine weather and we have been sent the following two pictures: –

Dust Cloud clearly visible over Chalk Pit
This moved to the North toward the Glyn School Pavilion and Nescot
Dust on Car 2 days after washing

Respirable crystalline silica (RCS) and wood dust are likely emitted from the operations at the Chalk Pit given the waste being recycled. They are listed by the HSE alongside asbestos as three of the five dusts where they issue specific guidance. They are not the type of dusts we want to be inhaling!

How can RCS harm your health? By breathing in RCS, you could develop the following lung diseases: Silicosis Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) Lung cancer.

Dust is identified within the planning documents as an issue as follows:

Harm: Harm to human Health

Significance: Moderate

Magnitude: Medium

Given this risk the applicant has, in relation to their site, proposed that the materials recycling should be subject to a number of measures to reduce the risk including carrying out recycling in a building and misting.

These measures are not in place as we write which has likely resulted in an increase in the dust we see. We have no idea what levels of invisible respirable dust are in the air and what impact this is having on our health – the consequences will likely not be seen for many years. A number of doctors have expressed similar concerns.

The Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP is working tirelessly to stop the nuisance as are our County and Ward Councillors both in Epsom and Ewell and Reigate and Banstead. The cross-party working has been quite something.

The applicant suggests that the dust will affect receptors (which is what we and our children have become) within 1km of the site. Online research suggests that respirable dust with an average particle size will be much more widely dispersed and we are concerned that the invisible respirable dust will affect the area within 7km of the site even in winds of 10kmph! (source Dust Particulant Distance Travel and Impacts on Adj Properties, incl Resp & Allergic Immune Responses.pdf (citicite.com))

Our health cannot be looked at retrospectively.

If you are affected by Noise or Dust, please call or email the Environment Agency 0800 80 70 60 Incident_Communication_Service@environment-agency.gov.uk.


As a consultee Epsom and Ewell Borough Council were required to consider the application under ref (21/00223/CMA) – change of use from Waste Transfer Station to Materials Recycling Facility. This was done under Delegated Powers and an objection issued on 9 March 2021 quoting “there are concerns that the applicants are not adhering to the conditions of their Environmental permit. Conditions should be imposed, if the application is permitted, restricting both times of operation and delivery”. To view these go the Borough Council Planning website. There are more than 60 comments so far.


Technical Information and Documents

Please download the document on the link below for a detailed analysis of Respiratory and Allergic Immune Response Impacts of Gravel Pit / Quarry Operations on Adjacent Land / Properties.

A flyer for this article can be downloaded on the link below

About ewelldownsra

AEDR seeks to protect and enhance the interests of residents. Our primary concerns centre on planning, traffic, security and other topics which directly affect our area.
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