Oxted residents fear they may face ten more years of “hell” from a large numbers of lorries travelling through the area after the operator of the Chalkpit Quarry applied for a ten-year postponement of a review of planning conditions.
Southern Gravel has applied to Surrey County Council (SCC) to have the review of conditions, due in June 2012, put back to June 2022.
Residents had been hoping the review would be a great opportunity to try and limit the amount of HGVs using the site.
In a letter to the council, Southern Gravel said: “There are a total of 31 individual planning conditions which control activities at the site and it is considered that these conditions are entirely satisfactory to ensure the site is run in an acceptable manner.”
The council now has three months to make a decision on the application for a postponement but it is understood it will do so in the next few weeks. It is not legally obliged to consult on the application.
Oxted and Limpsfield Residents Group (OLRG) is urging as many people as possible to write to the council asking them to keep the review set for next year in place.
The current route for traffic includes an infant school, a junior school and the largest secondary school in Surrey.
“People must write in because we’ve had years of hell from these lorries and now the chance to put a stop to it, a chance that we’ve been desperately waiting for, is under threat,” said Phil Littleford who lives on the lorry route.
“The current situation is incredibly dangerous and it’s a miracle that no-one has been seriously injured or killed.”
Amanda Griffiths, who also lives on the route, added: “The lorries are really bad at the minute — lots of near misses, dangerous driving and abusive behaviour.
“One lady had a shopping bag knocked out of her hand by a lorry which mounted the pavement and there was a very close shave with a mother and toddler when the child bent down to pick something up from the pavement.”
Residents group chair, Catherine Sayer, said: “It’s shocking that on something as important as this, where people’s lives are at risk, there is no consultation. We’ve asked SCC to reconsider but they’ve said no. It’s very important that people write in anyway.”
Surrey County Council recently unveiled its new minerals plan for the region — which removed a possible extension to the Oxted Sandpit but kept plans for two new quarries in Nutfield and one in Bletchingley.
A Surrey County Council spokesman said: “We are not legally obliged to consult local residents about an application to postpone the Review of Conditions.
“However, we consider it only fair and reasonable for the Residents Association to be informed and in making our decision we will certainly take their views and the views of others who have written to us in the interim into account.
“We understand and are familiar with local concerns about heavy vehicle traffic, but we have to take other matters into consideration too.
“The onus is on the operator to demonstrate why existing conditions may remain in force.”
Tandridge Buzz contacted Southern Gravel but had not received a response at the time of publishing.
- The OLRG is urging residents to object to a postponement by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com or writing to Mr A Stones, Planning Development Control Team Manager, Surrey County Council, Penrhyn Road, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey, KT1 2DW.