Road safety fears could see council refuse HGV plans for builders yard

Plans to transform a former builders yard into a HGV driving centre have been refused. Photo: Google

Plans to transform a former builders yard into a HGV driving centre have been refused. Photo: Google Streetview - Credit: Archant

Plans to transform a former builders yard into a HGV driving centre are set to be turned down.

A proposal to turn McCafferty's Builders Yard into a training centre will be considered by Broadland Council next week.

And the plans are recommended for refusal after the parish council and the highways authority highlighted concerns about HGVs passing through the village.

The application, for the half a hectare of land at Mill Lane, Felthorpe, would see staff from existing Norwich sites relocated.

Training would include on and off-site driving, forklift training and classroom sessions, and the site's proposed hours of opening would be 7.30am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, with five full-time and three part-time jobs provided.

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The application said "minor alterations would be required" with parking available for 26 cars.

But a report published ahead of Broadland District Council's planning committee meeting on Wednesday, March 4, stated: "The proposal has potential to generate employment but recommendation is for refusal."

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A spokesman for the parish council said: "Felthorpe Parish Council - on behalf of Felthorpe residents - objects unreservedly.

"The applicant's decision to move from their locations in predominately industrial sites, to a small rural village is an enigma.

"The parish council continues to campaign to introduce a weight restriction due to nearby roads unsuitability for HGVs.

"The NDR has had minimal impact on the number of vehicles rat running through the village." And the county council highways authority said: "Mill Lane is a narrow, single-track rural lane totally unsuited to HGV traffic.

"Site vehicle access has severely sub-standard visibility. Locating a HGV training centre at this rural location is totally unsatisfactory."

While councillor Lisa Starling, who asked the committee to consider the application, said 32 objections had been received, which included the site's unsuitability for HGVs, the effect on road safety, and a risk of noise and disturbance to residents.

However, planning officers did say the proposal would "result in some economic benefit" due to providing eight jobs and "make effective use of a brownfield site", without causing any "significant detrimental impact on residential amenity".

But officers recommended the application be refused due to concerns over road safety.

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