Plans for HGV centre in ‘small village’ refused by council over safety fears
- Credit: Archant
Plans for a HGV driving centre at a former builders yard have been rejected by a council over fears of vehicles navigating unsafe roads.
The application to convert the old McCafferty's Builders Yard, in Felthorpe, into a training centre for lorry and forklift drivers was discussed at Broadland District Council's planning committee meeting on Wednesday, March 4.
But councillors voted in unison to refuse the plans, citing concern over the location and road safety.
The proposals for the Mill Lane site came before the committee due to rules over how the council considers planning applications which may offer employment - as the proposed site could have seen eight jobs relocated from Norwich.
Julie Fox, Broadland planning officer, told councillors: "The Highways authority objected to the proposal as they considered the semi-rural location of a substandard nature, and also unsatisfactory for increased by HGV traffic."
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She added: "The proposal would provide no economic benefit and it's considered it should not be approved - the recommendation is for refusal."
John Bebbington, Felthorpe Parish Council's vice-chairman, told the committee: "This is a builders yard but the vehicles on site were a maximum of six and they were box vehicles, not HGVs."
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He said the roads were unsuitable for "vehicles of this nature".
He added: "A business of this nature is best suited to an area of the city that provides the best location to meet their needs.
"Felthorpe really is a very small village."
Mr Bebbington said objections from villagers had included the site's location, the state of the rural roads, a lack of visibility when accessing Mill Lane and Reepham Road, the impact on road safety and potential noise and disturbance to residents.
However, a report published ahead of the planning meeting said the plans were outside any settlement boundary, and stated: "The proposed use would make effective use of a brownfield site in former employment use.
"The proposal would not cause significant detrimental impact on residential amenity."
But the report added: "The proposal would have limited economic benefits, and overall no economic and social benefits."
Councillors voted unanimously in favour of following the officers' recommendation to refuse the site.