‘This would create increasing tailbacks’ - leaders question HGV plans at quarry
- Credit: Archant
Community leaders have spoken out against controversial plans to drastically increase the number of heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) coming in and out of a Suffolk quarry.
Proposals have been submitted to increase the number of lorries that can go in and out of Hadleigh Quarry, in Aldham Mill Hill near the A1071, to 80 per day over any four-week period.
If plans are approved, there would be a vehicle leaving or arriving at the quarry every seven minutes on average during working hours.
The quarry, which is owned by JT Few Plant Hire Ltd, is currently restricted to 1,000 movements per calendar year - a limit the firm says "effectively prevents the whole quarry operating at a commercial level of activity".
A supporting transport statement said the increase "would not have a significant effect on the local road network".
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A Suffolk Highways spokesman said: "A public meeting was held at the quarry earlier this year attended by residents and it was agreed that all elements discussed would be part of an application. A decision on the application is expected in February.
Town councillor Carol Schleip and county councillor Mick Fraser met with Hadleigh residents last week to discuss the potential increase and its effect on traffic.
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Mr Fraser said: "The proposed plans look at a ten-fold increase in traffic. These HGVs will up towards Sproughton, where there are pinch points.
"The A1071 is a very fast stretch of road. Cars and motorbikes will be going at the national speed limit.
"I believe the planners have put in an application for a huge increase in the hope they'll get a lower amount. It seems like they're chancing their arm.
"The quarry need to find a balance between what's acceptable and what will work for them.
Jonathan Ralph, chairman of neighbouring Aldham Parish Council, added: "The original planning application was granted to allow a combined total of 1,000 movements in or out each year.
"There is no evidence that this total was ever challenged as being commercially unviable when this permission was granted, and work has apparently proceeded with this restricted condition since then.
"Vehicles attempting to cross the A1071 towards Whatfield or Hadleigh would easily be caught behind more than one HGV if it has to wait at the junction for more than a few minutes.
"This would create increasing tailbacks of traffic at peak times."