Heavy-goods vehicles could 'Devastate' historic Essex village if Sainsbury's plans get the go ahead

HEAVY-GOODS vehicles could devastate Thaxted if Sainsbury s is granted permission to build their first supermarket in Uttlesford, a campaign group believes. If the store on Thaxted Road, Saffron Walden, is given the go-ahead by councillors in January, i

HEAVY-GOODS vehicles could “devastate” Thaxted if Sainsbury's is granted permission to build their first supermarket in Uttlesford, a campaign group believes.

If the store on Thaxted Road, Saffron Walden, is given the go-ahead by councillors in January, it could mean up to eight delivery vehicles a day passing through the historic village.

Chairman of The Thaxted Society, Brian Smith, said: “Overhead we already get the vibration of the planes which is damaging our buildings, we don’t want these big lorries clattering through our streets as well.”

The Thaxted Society was set up almost 40 years ago to preserve the character of the village and fight unsuitable developments.

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The proposal to use the B184 south of Saffron Walden as the main delivery route for the supermarket was described by Mr Smith as devastating news for “our already car-ridden narrow ancient streets”.

The proposed 44,000 sq ft store – which would be twice the size of Tesco on Radwinter Road – would generate traffic of between six and eight delivery vehicles in any 24-hour period, some of which would be HGVs.

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Of particular concern to The Thaxted Society, and to the parish council, is the junction at Watling Street, Bolford Street and Watling Lane – described by Mr Smith as “the sharpest right-angle turn in Essex”.

“It’s extremely difficult for a large vehicle to get around that corner and impossible without stopping the traffic in both directions,” he said.

In a written response to planning authority Uttlesford District Council (UDC), members of Thaxted Parish Council said there had been several accidents on that particular junction and that the B184 was “highly unsuitable” for heavy-goods vehicles at any time of the day or night.

Acting chairman of the parish council, Terry Frostick, said: “I am appalled that Sainsbury’s have suggested using this route – they have not considered the impact that it will have on Thaxted.

“This is a measure that has been taken to try and appease the people of Saffron Walden by not sending the lorries into the town and we think that is totally wrong.”

The proposal is still not a final decision however, according to Sainsbury’s development surveyor Michael Morris.

He said: “No decision has been made on the alternative delivery route via Thaxted, which is being explored as a result of feedback at our public exhibitions.

“The B184 route has no HGV restrictions and, if chosen, a limit of four HGVs would use the route in any 24-hour period, with the remaining maximum four deliveries coming in smaller vehicles.

“All deliveries would be outside peak periods to minimise any potential disruption to local traffic.”

He added that members of the community can submit comments to a Sainsbury’s help team prior to the application being decided. The community line is 0800 019 2205 or e-mail info@sainsburys-saffronwalden.co.uk

The application is due to be considered by members of UDC’s development control committee on January 13.

Anyone who has not yet submitted their comments concerning the Sainsbury’s development to UDC’s planning department, and who wants their views to be considered, must do so this week.

Write to them at: Planning Department, Council Offices, London Road, Saffron Walden, CB11 4ER or email them at planning@uttlesford.gov.uk. Quote the planning reference number UTT/1451/09.

To view the application visit the council’s website www.uttlesford.gov.uk and follow the link on the home page.

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