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Traffic fears over quarry proposal
Families living on a new housing estate in Calne say they are horrified to learn of a planning application that would increase the number of lorries driving past their homes.
Residents at the Steeple Chase development, built by Redrow Homes on Sandpit Road, live next to Sands Farm Quarry, owned by Aggregate Industries UK Ltd.
The firm’s concrete products factory and stockyard on the site was mothballed in 2009 because of the economic downturn and its planning permission for the plant is due to expire in February.
However, Aggregate Industries has now applied for permission to extend concrete production there until November 2022.
Families believe the company intends to revive the factory and transfer staff from its other operations in the South West to Calne.
According to figures submitted with its application, there would more than 4,500 lorry deliveries per year.
Businesswoman Julie Musk said she chose her house on Hastings Drive because she needed to be closer to London, but she wanted to live somewhere quiet. She said the traffic would affect the whole town and she was concerned the planning notice had not been advertised widely during consultation, which ends on November 8.
She said: “If this is going to impact on the whole of Calne, why isn’t this being made clear? We all know the quarry is at the end of the road, but we were told by Redrow there would be 20 lorries a day.
“The posters suggest business as usual, but just for longer. They’re only placed in Sandpit Road but the influx of lorries will affect the whole town.”
Calne town councillor Caroline Ramsey, who owns a house on Oxford Road, near the quarry, said the factory produced a huge amount of dust when it was working.
She said: “There was cement dust on our washing and on our cars and our houses vibrated terribly. We had huge problems with flooding on the road and the engineers said that the drains were plugged with cement.
“This is a new application and it should not be allowed because the whole landscape around here has changed. This is a recipe for disaster.”
A Wiltshire Council spokeswoman said statutory procedures had been followed by displaying planning notices on site and also in the local newspaper.
She said: “The description on the notice comes from the applicant, however all documents are available online.
“We already extended the consultation period due to the fact notices were defaced and disappeared.”
Aggregate Industries did not respond to the Gazette’s requests for a comment.