HGVs on the right track after major plan gets the go-ahead.
Local communities are set to benefit after the approval of a plan to minimise the impact of construction traffic was given the go-ahead.
An independent planning inspector has backed the new Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Minerals and Waste Plan after scrutinising the 174 page document following several rounds of public consultation and a series of public hearings.
The plan deals with many issues, such as the provision of new recycling centres and the supply of building materials for new developments, but during the process local communities highlighted the threat of heavy lorries carrying construction and demolition materials through their villages as a key concern.
After listening to their feedback, Cambridgeshire County Council and local haulage and waste companies have worked closely to agree a package of measures aimed at keeping the bulk of construction traffic out of local villages. This includes commitments given by the companies to local communities, specific traffic routing plans to landfill sites and the joint funding of new road signage for the preferred routes.
Councillor Roy Pegram, Cambridgeshire County Council's Lead Member for Planning, said: “This has been a very long process but it is great news that the Planning Inspector has given the go-ahead to the plan. Importantly, he has confirmed our view that the right way to plan for growth in the county is to work closely with the minerals and waste industry and local communities and their elected representatives to make the right choices for the future while not creating problems in the present. I would like to particularly applaud the actions taken by local companies in helping to address the important issue of heavy lorries driving through local villages. It shows their commitment to helping the communities they are living and working in.”
Mick George Ltd, Network Rail, Frimstone Ltd and AmeyCespa Ltd have already re-routed a significant proportion of their through traffic avoiding local villages including Sutton, Earith, Haddenham and Wilburton with the exception of servicing local building projects. The new plan provides a clear commitment for more agreements to be a feature of future negotiations with other operators.
Councillor Phillip Read, Chairman of the County ’s Development Control Committee, said:
“In the past it has been hard to stop lorries from using particular routes so the new agreements and signage will make a real difference. The haulage companies are very keen to promote the new routes themselves as they realise, as we all do, the need to reduce the number of heavy goods vehicles going through villages.”
The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Minerals and Waste Plan proposes the location of future waste management facilities and quarries for building materials such as sand and gravel, up to 2026. It has a number of key principles including making building materials available for the construction of new housing and infrastructure, and encouraging recycling through conveniently located, modern, enclosed recycling centres.”
It is anticipated that the full plan will be adopted by elected members at Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council by early 2012.