U-turn on bin lorry depot decision by Uttlesford District Council
PUBLISHED: 08:00 28 May 2020
Uttlesford District Council reverses its position and chooses alternative plan for new bin lorry depot against its own proposal.
A new roundabout at an accident blackspot and the creation of 100 jobs are on the agenda after planning permission was given for a relocated bin lorry depot for Dunmow.
In the latest round of the Battle of the Bin Sites, Uttlesford District Council has climbed down and voted - almost unanimously - against its own scheme and in favour of a private development.
For the past two years there have been two rival schemes.
Landowners David Wolfe and Christopher Lawrence applied to build a refuse lorry depot, a classic car storage and restoration business, and offices east of the B1256, a kilometre from Dunmow town centre.
Uttlesford District Council submitted its own proposal for a bin lorry depot and plans for up to 11 acres of employment land to be built south of the B1256, in Little Canfield.
On Wednesday, May 20, going against the advice of its planning officers, the district council’s planning committee abandoned the council’s own plans in favour of the private scheme.
The vote was 11 votes out of 12.
The district council wants to combine the current lorry depots in Dunmow and in Shire Hill, Saffron Walden.
But its Canfield plan had met fierce opposition from both Little Canfield residents and Dunmow Town Council.
At the virtual planning meeting, last week, the current R4U (Residents for Uttlesford) regime which took over from the Conservatives last May, did a U-turn.
Mr Wolfe says his scheme will create 100 jobs. It will include not just the council’s refuse depot but a classic car restoration business, an industrial unit and offices.
He said: “As part of the Section 106 agreement where developers must include something for the commmunity there will be new roundabout at a current accident blackspot, a footbridge over the River Chelmer and links to the Flitch Way.He said: “We hope the roundabout will slow traffic at the junction between the old Braintree Road and the B1256, near Folly Farm.
“We will create walkways to link to the Flitch Way and help complete that and there will be parking for about 20 cars for people wanting to walk the Flitch Way,
“We are very pleased to be doing something for Dunmow, where I have lived for 50 years.”
Among the speakers at the virtual meeting was Jenny Poulton whose home is next to the current Dumow bin depot in New Street.
Five years ago, the wall between her home and the depot was reduced to rubble when a refuse lorry reversed into it.
The story was reported by the Broadcast as The truck that came to tea. The crash was dot on 4pm and Mrs Poulton and her husband Frank were having afternoon tea with friends.
After the meeting, Mrs Poulton said: “The sooner the depot moves the better.
“The area is far too small. The poor guys have a dreadful job driving down a narrow, one-way street where there is a nursery school and a church, people with mobility problems and parents pushing prams.
“People in Dumnow didn’t want the site here and the people in Little Canfield didn’t want it there.”
R4U district and town councillor Patrick Lavelle, who spoke at the meeting, said: “Dunmow and Little Canfield councillors strongly opposed proposals to build a new council bin lorry depot on high grade farmland near Little Canfield.
“Instead it now has been approved on land adjacent to an existing industrial site to the east of Great Dunmow.”
Cllr Lavelle said the previous decision on the depot was made by the previous administration.
“We are aware of the urgent need to relocate the existing depots from their current locations and are pleased that a new better site has now been approved.”
He added: “As part of approval, the landowner has agreed to provide a public car park and a footbridge to access the woodland behind the site where Great Dunmow Town Council has recently planted 13,000 trees.
“This is a win-win for local residents – and a victory for doing the right thing for our environment.”
Mr Wolfe said he expected it would be two years before work on the project can start.
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