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Residents in Whatfield and Nedging with Naughton call for traffic plan after controversial decision to allow Hadleigh Quarry to increase its workload

Campaigners are stepping up pressure to make sure their Suffolk villages do not see an increase in lorries following a controversial decision to allow a quarry to increase its workload.

Some 184 residents in Whatfield and Nedging with Naughton have signed a petition calling for a traffic management plan to be introduced as a matter of urgency after Hadleigh Quarry was granted permission to increase movements to and from its site at Peyton Hall Farm, from eight to 80 lorries a day.

Affected residents claim that lorries sometimes take a short cut through their villages instead of using the main A1071.

Residents in Whatfield say lorries are already passing through. Picture by Mark Westley
Residents in Whatfield say lorries are already passing through. Picture by Mark Westley

Suffolk County Council twice turned down the application for lorry movements to increase but the decision was overturned on appeal to the Secretary of State.

District councillor Leigh Jamieson, who started the petition on behalf of the Babergh Green Party and who represents both villages, has called on the council to hear their pleas.

“The lorries would ideally turn right out of the quarry, head down the short stretch of Aldham Mill Hill and on to the main A1071,” he said this week.

“Unfortunately, they regularly turn left and travel on the narrow lanes that lead through Whatfield and Nedging with Naughton. This is likely done because the journey is quicker.

“This has caused a lot of concern for the residents of the villages. Both are small and the main street through Whatfield is only partly paved, while at the Naughton end, there is no pavement.

“As the lorry movements to the quarry increase, it is feared that the number of lorries travelling through the villages will increase and it will only be a matter of time before someone is hurt.

“As part of the approved application, there is supposed to be a lorry management plan in place and we are calling on the county council to ensure this happens and that there are also conditions to punish the quarry for any transgressions.”

A spokesperson for Suffolk County Council, said: "The County Council recognises the importance of ensuring that lorries use suitable routes whenever possible and that trips passing through villages on minor roads are generally undesirable.

"Recent decisions by the Planning Inspectorate conditioned a total number of movements but not lorry-routing to and from the quarry.

"If the residents have any indication of the number of quarry-related lorry movements passing through Whatfield and Naughton per day or per week and any specific instances where lorry movements have caused significant issues in the villages, we can take this into account in making any further decision.

Buffalow Crow who operate lorries from Hadleigh Quarry preferred not to comment.