Leader vows action over damage to lane caused by construction traffic

PUBLISHED: 08:34 10 January 2019 | UPDATED: 10:55 10 January 2019

Whiteditch Lane, Newport in May 2012 (left) and in 2018 (right). Pictures: CONTRIBUTED

Whiteditch Lane, Newport in May 2012 (left) and in 2018 (right). Pictures: CONTRIBUTED

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A repair plan has been drawn up by Essex Highways to address ‘disgraceful’ road damage in Newport caused by construction vehicles not adhering to planning conditions at building sites.

Construction vehicles on Whiteditch Lane in Newport. Picture: CONTRIBUTEDConstruction vehicles on Whiteditch Lane in Newport. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Newport parish councillor Judy Emanuel has written to MP Kemi Badenoch about the approval of multiple planning applications in Whiteditch Lane and Bury Water Lane and the impact it is having on the village.

Councillor Howard Rolfe, leader of Uttlesford District Council (UDC), has also visited the road to assess the situation.

Whiteditch Lane in Newport in 2012. Picture: CONTRIBUTEDWhiteditch Lane in Newport in 2012. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

District councillor for Newport, Neil Hargreaves, estimates that there have been at least 10 planning applications approved since 2011.

Cllr Hargreaves said: “We need a cumulative assessment of it all. It’s a nightmare and a disgrace that all these applications were approved in the first place on a single-track country lane and there’s another two in progress.”

Construction vehicles on Whiteditch Lane, Newport. Picture: CONTRIBUTEDConstruction vehicles on Whiteditch Lane, Newport. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

According to residents, the large number of construction vehicles using Whiteditch Lane has led to potholes, mud and debris on the road surface and blocked drainage from rubble, meaning the road floods when it rains.

After his visit, Cllr Rolfe said: “The situation in Whiteditch Lane is unsatisfactory for local residents and has been for some time. There have been a significant number of successful planning applications including for a Care Home, a number of these have been won on appeal but this is of little comfort to some of the residents.

Road damage in Whiteditch Lane, Newport. Picture: CONTRIBUTEDRoad damage in Whiteditch Lane, Newport. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

“Whiteditch Lane is a single track, rural lane that ends in a country path, it has been under pressure from large construction vehicles which have inevitably damaged the surface. Dependent on the season, the lane has been muddy, dusty and very wet.

“Enforcement officers from UDC have carried out regular visits to enforce the planning conditions where they can and a number of the developers have tried to mitigate the inconvenience.

“This visit has led me to organise a meeting later this month with attendees including Essex Highways, UDC planners and a developer representative.

A spokesman for Essex Highways said: “Some of these potholes have been caused by heavy lorries taking materials to and from the developer sites nearby.

“Essex Highways has agreed with the developers that part of the money for roads improvements they have to pay under a planning agreement will be used to fill these potholes as quickly as possible.”

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