Bus company expansion agreed despite noise concerns

Charles Sanders, managing director of Sanders Coaches. Picture: Mark Bullimore.

Charles Sanders, managing director of Sanders Coaches. Picture: Mark Bullimore. - Credit: Archant

Plans to expand a “valuable” bus firm’s headquarters have been agreed by councillors.

Sanders Coaches applied to North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) for permission to create an overflow bus turning and parking area at its Holt site.

And at the council’s planning committee meeting, held on Thursday, May 28, via Zoom, the councillors discussed the plans including residents’ concerns around noise pollution.

A report on the plans for the Hempstead Road site - owned by the coach company - stated: “As other companies such as Stagecoach, Go Ahead and First Eastern Counties have terminated their bus services for north Norfolk, Sanders Coaches have been taking over the withdrawn services in order to meet public demand and to avoid disruption to the general public.

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“As additional vehicles are required, the existing site which Sanders Coaches currently operate from, located on the opposite side of Hempstead Road, is not suitable to accommodate additional vehicles.”

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At the meeting, owner Charles Sanders said: “We like to feel we contribute significantly to north Norfolk’s economy. We have been operating here for over two years.

“We’re looking to continue to supply services locally.”

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He added: “Speed bumps would have a negative impact. It’s not just us that use this site, there’s a lot of HGVs. They make a lot of noise when they come off the back end of a speed bump.”

And he said: “Holt is already devoid of parking. If we don’t provide parking for our staff on site, they will end up parking outside people’s houses.”

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Duncan Baker, Conservative councillor for Holt - and north Norfolk’s MP - described the firm as “a valuable company to Holt and all of north Norfolk” and said: “Noise issues can be mitigated through appropriate measures.”

Georgie Perry-Warnes, Liberal Democrat councillor for Holt, said town residents were concerned about light and noise pollution coming from the site.

She added: “As highlighted by residents, it’s very important that conditions are complied with.”

John Toye, Lib Dem councillor for Erpingham, said: “Speed bumps at night with an empty vehicle will actually generate noise rather than reduce it.”

Councillors voted to approve the plans, with the condition requiring speed calming measures removed from the application.

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