'We will agree HGV routes to satisfy the community's wishes'

The former Saltby Airfield siteThe former Saltby Airfield site
The former Saltby Airfield site
The dozens of objectors to retrospective plans to transport straw to and from the former Saltby Airfield have been reassured that an agreement will be made for the routing of HGVs which satisfies the concerns of the community.

Saltby Farms wants to change the use of part of the airfield to allow the importation, storage and exportation of straw for use at the Sleaford Renewable Energy Plant as and when regular supplies are interrupted.

Melton Borough Council’s planning committee recently deferred a decision on the scheme because members were concerned about the traffic safety of using the narrow Wyville Road for lorries carrying the straw away from the site, before they head east to join the A607 just south of Denton.

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They highlighted the worries of many residents who pointed out there were few passing places and that cars could be diverted into ditches to avoid large oncoming vehicles transporting the straw.

The narrow Wyville Road near Saltby AirfieldThe narrow Wyville Road near Saltby Airfield
The narrow Wyville Road near Saltby Airfield

Following the planning committee’s decision, a spokesperson for Saltby Farms said: “We have always been committed to being a part of the local community and are keen to find a way forward with local councillors and parishes.

"As a result, we are happy to adopt whichever route is preferred.

“Although at the planning committee officers deemed that planning conditions were not necessary for the application, we’re very happy to provide a commitment to follow whichever route is considered most appropriate by the parishes and committee to allow the farm to continue this important piece of work, that not only helps support the UK to generate its own energy but also allowing the farm to diversify.”

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The deferral was welcomed by several objectors, including local resident, Jane Page, who told the Melton Times: “As a resident who lives within 100 yards of the main proposed import entrance for the applicants straw bale operation and has put up with years of nuisance from the associated HGVs that are used to import and export straw to supply Sleaford Biomass Power Station I applaud the committee’s decision to defer judgement on Saltby Airfield Farms retrospective planning application.

“Sadly until now there has been little dialogue between Saltby Estates and the local community as regards the straw bale operation and its HGV movements and I hope that the applicant with his team will take this opportunity to listen to our very real concerns.

“The councillors who voted in the majority to defer judgement had visited our area and driven the routes likely to be affected by the HGVs, it is a relief that they shared the local residents views as regards the likely adverse impact to local road safety and resident amenities and environment and that these concerns were not being fully addressed and that more analysis was required in light of the very real difficulties that the HGVs would likely cause on the narrow country lanes and roads that would be directly affected as a result by this retrospective planning application.”

Planning officials had recommended the council approved the retrospective scheme and both Leicestershire and Lincolnshire Highways raised no objections to the HGV routing proposals.