Protest in Huntingdonshire village hailed ‘a success’ by organisers as attention turns to county council
- Credit: Archant
Campaigners in Earith who say their village is being “destroyed” by increasing HGV traffic say a protest march held on Sunday was a big success.
Dozens of supporters took to the streets to register their objection to a planning application for a reservoir in nearby Haddenham which could see traffic in the village increase by up to 150 HGV trips a day.
The Grim Reaper made an appearance at the march to rally support and one of the organisers, Wendy Oldfield, said villagers had been “very supportive”, with about 60 attending on the day.
She said: “The march went very well, it exceeded our expectations in fact, and everybody was very supportive.”
Mrs Oldfield said protestors had planned to demonstrate at a meeting of Cambridgeshire County Council’s planning committee earlier this month but a decision on the plans has now been pushed back until March.
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She added: “We have been told that what they [the county council] are going to do is monitor the traffic flow by recording the registration numbers of the lorries to see where they lorry companies are coming from and where they are going.
“But we have done an awful lot of things like this before and it comes back to the same issues. It is the same thing going on now that was going on in 1990. How much more time and taxypayer’s money do they need to spend to see that it is a traffic issue and a pollution issue?”
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The protest came following a planning application submitted by William Dennis, of Dennis (Haddenham) Ltd, who applied in April last year for permission to construct irrigation reservoirs via the extraction of sand and gravel from a site off the A1123 at Hill Row Causeway.
The application also requests permission to widen the vehicular access onto the A1123 at Doles Drove, construct a mineral processing plant and three temporary office buildings at the site.
In a planning statement, agents acting for the farming firm said: “The proposed development involving the establishment of an irrigation reservoir can be undertaken without resulting in any material harm to local amenity or the environment and clear policy support exists for the facility that will assist in maintaining high levels of food production.
“Accordingly, there is no reason to refuse planning permission for the development as there is no conflict with development plan policies nor central governmental advice.”
The agents said an independent report considered the need for an additional source of irrigation water at the farm to support “intensive vegetable growing” and added that the works would provide “security and flexibility” to the farm in the event of low rainfall.
The applicant says that lorries going to and from the site will “likely” head towards St Ives via Earith and Bluntisham but added that it would be temporary while extraction took place and there was “nothing to suggest there would be any constraints to goods vehicles using the A1123 through the village”.