Keynsham Councillor Alan Hale has been left ‘fuming’ after discovering that Bath and North East Somerset Council is powerless to prevent large earth-moving lorries from accessing the town’s K2 ‘Meadows’ housing development between 8am and 9am.
After months of trying to get action taken to prevent the arrival early-morning earth-moving lorries at the site before 9am, local councillor Alan Hale has now learnt that there are in fact no conditions to prevent them from operating after 8am.
Councillor Hale (Cons, Keynsham South) said:
“I am absolutely fuming. I have been informed by a Council officer that whilst the Construction Management Plan for the development, , written by Taylor Wimpey, prohibits the movement of delivery vehicles before 9am and after 3pm there is absolutely nothing written into the plan to prevent the earth moving wagons, as opposed to actual deliveries, arriving after 8am and working beyond the 3pm deadline – despite the fact the earth-moving lorries are used to further the development and cause just as much disruption to local residents.”
The K2B development, now known as The Meadows, has been a source of local problems ever since the site gained planning permission on appeal. There has been disturbance from on-site noise, the street sweeper has been a constant irritation to residents on its route due to its noisy engine and beeping alarm, and there have been enormous dust clouds caused by it emptying its tank on site close to existing residences in Dunster Road.
Alan Hale continued:
“The reason for the controls on the delivery vehicles, I have always understood, is because the route takes in many home-to-school routes with two primary schools within less than half a mile of the site, as well as a high volume of secondary school pupil movement. With that in mind it beggars belief that the author of the Construction Plan, Taylor Wimpey, saw fit not to include all types of heavy vehicle movement during that time, after all an earth moving vehicle is just as capable of crushing a child as is a delivery vehicle.
“I am absolutely seething that such a situation has been allowed to develop due to poor plan writing and lack of lateral thinking on the part of the Taylor Wimpey employee involved. Or was it cynical plan writing? I am also absolutely appalled that the case officer signed it off – just what was he thinking? Taylor Wimpey are of course taking full advantage of their plan and accepting their muck clearing lorries during the school run. It speaks volumes for their community safety consideration – or lack of in this case – and their eagerness to just make money. So much for good neighbours.”
Whilst the Inspector is recalled as saying he did not anticipate a large increase in vehicle movement beyond that which the various small businesses created on the farm, a council officer has in fact stated that it is believed that over the six week period of incident reports there were over 3000 vehicle movements related to the site and these did not include the earth removing trucks.
Cllr Hale has written to officers asking them to seek renegotiated conditions with Taylor Wimpey to resolve the situation.