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Residents 'extremely worried' by HGV disruption through village near Saltby airfield

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Objections have been raised over a retrospective planning application for Saltby airfield as residents say their lives are being blighted by heavy lorries passing through their village.

Sleaford Power Station has submitted a retrospective planning application to use Saltby Airfield as a straw storage facility, much to the dismay of residents and Croxton Kerrial Parish Council, who are concerned that the high volume of HGV vehicles accessing the airfield present significant problems on Saltby Road, Mill Lane and Main Street.

Noise, vibration and dust have all been cited as factors along with increased congestion. Their concerns are being supported by the parish council which has monitored the situation closely and says it does not feel that this should be allowed to progress in its current format.

A retrospective planning application for Saltby airfield has been submitted. (56145178)
A retrospective planning application for Saltby airfield has been submitted. (56145178)

Another concern is that the large multi-axle vehicles are as tall as the resident’s homes they are passing, within four metres in some cases. Residents say they find this level of noise and dust and the vibrations that come from the vehicles intolerable. They have been complaining about the usage of the airfield site for large-scale industrial storage since 2019 when usage intensified.

Local resident and farm owner Isabel Burford said: "We've seen lorries coming through the village for around three years now but never at this scale. There is a huge concern amongst us over the safety of these large vehicles using narrow winding lanes with steep banks, and our own farm vehicles have had several near collisions.

"There simply isn't room for the lorries to come down and allow for other traffic to continue safely. We are extremely worried about the situation which is intensifying by the day."

Objections have also been raised by Croxton Kerrial Parish Council on behalf of its residents as to the validity of the Transport Statement that accompanies the application as it only deals with the access and egress of vehicles onto the site. They say it does not analyse the designated route and its capacity to take the increase in vehicle numbers.

The application says that the Butts/Saltby Road is 7.2m wide and therefore is suitable for the HGVs to transport the hay bales. Objectors say that while this is true at the entrance to the site, the road reduces in width quite quickly and varies between 4.5m and 4.8 m wide in Croxton Kerrial. This is not wide enough for two large multi-axel HGVs to pass without mounting the grass verge or the pavement. The objectors say the damage to the highway caused by this use continuing will be costly for Leicestershire County Council to repair in the long term.

Objections have also been raised due to the proposal not bring of an agricultural nature as the application is for large-scale industrial and distribution use and therefore out of keeping with the site's rural location.

A decision is now awaited on the retrospective planning application.

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