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Hampshire County Council allows double lorry movements at Forest Lodge Home Farm quarry in Hythe



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A QUARRY in Hythe will now have twice as many vehicles coming in and out each day.

TJ Waste applied to Hampshire County Council to increase the number of HGVs allowed into the Forest Lodge Home Farm quarry in Fawley Road from 96 to 192, writes David George of the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

The company claimed to be up to two years behind schedule on the site, and would struggle to complete the extraction and restoration of the land by the 2027 deadline.

Forest Lodge Quarry in Fawley Road, Hythe (photo: Google)
Forest Lodge Quarry in Fawley Road, Hythe (photo: Google)

It follows another amendment last year to allow additional excavation equipment on-site.

In a deputation to the decision-making regulatory committee, Cllr Malcolm Wade, member for Dibden and Hythe, said: "Changes to this planning application have become an annual event – every year they come back with proposals for increased activity.

"We didn’t have contingencies for the pandemic and I accept that, but it could be used as a bit of an excuse at this point.

"TJ Waste is an experienced company so I wonder if these changes were always their intention.

"There are residential properties 35 metres from the site and I care about the quality of life for these residents, so I am concerned by the size of the operation and strongly object to these proposals."

John Palmer, a representative for TJ Waste, said: "The applicant finds itself behind the curve in achieving the restoration of this site within the timeframe due to the Covid-19 pandemic, where the company was running on a skeleton crew.

"There was an unprecedented delay to the work on-site, and the applicant is now 12-24 months behind schedule.

"To bring them back up to speed they are looking for greater flexibility on the number of HGVs allowed on the site.

"Having 192 vehicles coming in and out each day would be the worst-case scenario. For the most part it will be a 20-30% increase on an average day."

HCC officers noted an increase in demand for inert materials in Southampton in recent months.

For councillors, their votes came down to weighing up the increased vehicle movement compared to extending the lifespan of the quarry.

Cllr Alexis McEvoy, who chairs the quarry liaison panel and is the member for South Waterside, said: "Let’s get on with this and get it done and dusted as soon as possible."

Cllr Gary Hughes, member for Purbrook and Stakes South, said: "The 55-decibel noise limit is the equivalent of an electric toothbrush, so I think noise concerns are something of a misnomer.

"The increased vehicle movements are the lesser of two evils and if we want the site to be completed by 2027 we should agree to this."

Cllr Louise Parker-Jones, member for Bishopstoke and Fair Oak, said: "If I ran my electric toothbrush for the duration of this meeting, you would all be rather annoyed.

"This could be horrible for residents but we need to get this site returned to nature, and get to a stage where no more lorries are coming through at all."

Cllr Rod Cooper, Farnborough West, added: "My message to the applicant is that we will be watching this very closely.

"If an application for an extension is submitted in 12 months time I’m sure whoever is on this panel will deal with it accordingly."

Councillors voted unanimously in favour of the application.



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