Bid to increase in HGV movements through Thurrock village rejected

A bid to double the amount of lorries going through a Thurrock village has been thrown out by councillors.

Warley Green Limited submitted an application to increase lorry movements to a solar farm construction site on land adjacent Fen Farm, Judds Farm and part of Bulphan Fen in Harrow Lane, Bulphan.

If approved, residents would have seen the current 22 two-way lorry movements a day – 11 in and 11 out – increased to 50 two-way movements a day between 8am and 6pm.

The increase would have brought the total lorry journeys allowed on the development from 2,040 to 5,200 HGV movements.

The council received 20 letters of objection from residents.

The site comprises 18 adjoining arable fields with associated hedgerows on Bulphan Fen approximately 600metres to the west of Bulphan village.

Speaking at planning committee meeting on Thursday, Barry Johnson, Conservative councillor for Orsett, said: “It gives me no pleasure in saying we told you so and the blight on this village continues I had several meetings with the applicant and indeed I spoke to this committee about the unsuitability of the route the lorries were to follow.

“A route that will not only see large lorries passing many residential properties but also a school and a church in the heart of a small village on roads that are simply not fit for this purpose.

“The decision was made doubly difficult to accept as there was and is a perfectly acceptable route directly from the A127 onto clay tye Road and Fenn Lane where no schools or churches will be passed with very, very few residential properties along the way.”

Cllr Johnson added: “Whilst I have no absolute proof that these lorries passing so close to residential properties at high speed have caused damage, I am aware that cracks in homes have only appeared post the solar farm lorries trundling through the village.

“The noise caused by these lorries travelling over the inevitable pot holes in Church Road, once again potholes that have only appeared post solar farm, is unbearable and I’m aware of some being put up for sale for residents to get away from the nightmare of these speeding lorries.

“The size of the lorries sees curbs mounted on very narrow walk ways and grass verges destroyed, verges that are dangerously close to underground gas pipes.”

Councillors unanimously rejected the application.

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Christine Sexton

Local Democracy Reporter