Traffic watchdog backs Barnham residents’ haulage fight

A TRAFFIC watchdog has backed Barnham residents in their fight against a haulage company.

Deputy traffic commissioner John Baker has refused Stuart Lyons Haulage permission to keep 24 HGVs at Lake Lane Nurseries.

He based his decision on the adverse effects on environmental conditions around the site.

He said 24 HGVs operating from it would amount to real interference with the comfort and convenience of living and enjoyment of property according to the standards of an average person. This effect outweighed any commercial merits of the application.

A spokesman for Lake Lane residents said: ”We welcome this decision and are delighted someone has at last taken notice of the situation. But there is still a long way to go to resolve the issue.”

The homeowners have been conducting a long-standing campaign to cut the numbers of HGVs which use the narrow lanes outside their homes in Lake Lane.

This led them to oppose the application by Stuart Lyons Haulage to add the nurseries as a further operating centre for the large lorries when it was considered at a public inquiry held by Mr Baker on May 9.

Arun District Council had submitted a statutory objection and supported residents by highlighting the notable detrimental effect the HGV numbers would have on the welfare of residents in the road.

The inquiry also heard from Stuart Lyons’ managing director, Andrew Jenner, who said the company had taken steps to lessen the impact of the lorries on the residents.

But the company did admit a small number of extra lorries would use the nurseries at night if the inquiry ended in the company’s favour. The firm was also unwilling to offer any compromise on maximum numbers or hours of working. Members of the Lake Lane Neighbourhood Group emphasised the strength of local opinion against the proposal. They highlighted the loss of amenity and concerns about the unsuitablitiy of the site and the Lake Lane access.

They said this was too narrow, to cause danger to users of the lane and damage to property and verges.

A Network Rail representative gave information on the serious problems at Yapton level crossing, to which HGVs have contributed, which has led to a temporary speed restriction on trains.