New homes will mean 120 lorry loads of earth a day on Southend roads

Up to 120 lorries full of earth could travel through Southend every day for more than two years after the next phase of a 214 home development was given approval.

Bellway Homes is building the homes off Barge Pier Road in Shoebury, but it will mean moving earth in to raise the ground before the homes are built on the land which is prone to flooding.

The homes will be built on four raised platforms from 3.5 metres to 6.5 metres which will require vast amounts of earth to be brought in.

Councillors heard the soil will be transported along the A127 to Eastern Avenue and on to Royal Artillery Way before proceeding along Thorpe Hall Avenue and the seafront to the development adjacent to Gunners Park and the Garrison Estate.

The meeting heard that permitting working hours are from 8am to 8pm, with up to 12 runs per hour.

Ron Woodley, Independent councillor for Thorpe Hall Ward, said: “Six lorries per hour each way, that’s 12 movements down these roads along a single carriageway along the seafront. The highways department are resurfacing Thorpe Hall Avenue next year so what are we doing around moving this level of material with 12 movements per day for two-and-a-half-years?

“This is just plain ridiculous moving this material by road and I suggest this gets refused because a proper impact assessment has not been done in terms of highways and environmental issues.”

“This is the wrong method to move this amount of material through our city.”

Cllr Woodley put forward a motion to refuse the application but it wasn’t seconded.

The development has outline planning permission but Southend’s development control met on Wednesday to approve details of the next stage.

David Garston, Conservative councillor for Prittlewell ward said councillors had a tough decision to make.

He said: “On the one hand we are desperate to put roofs over people’s heads but at the same time I can see the complaints that are going to be coming because of this traffic which is horrendous. In supporting this we are subjecting our residents to an awful lot of disruption. On the other hand if we don’t I think we have a moral obligation for the houses.”

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Christine Sexton

Local Democracy Reporter