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Lane damage blamed on farm lorries


Residents fear the road where they live will be ruined if a planned expansion of a mushroom farm goes ahead.

They claim lorries going to and from the Premier Mushroom Company on Crew Lane, Southwell, have damaged the surface of the road.

They said if plans to expand the farm went ahead more lorries would use the lane and taxpayers would end up paying for surface repairs.

They are also concerned that more vehicles could endanger residents, walkers and horse riders using the road.

Mr Des Skillington (65) who has lived on Crew Lane for 25 years, was concerned that the road, which he said was already cracked in places, would not withstand an increase in traffic.

“I don’t have any problems with Premier Mushrooms,” he said.

“But I feel very strongly that the surface on Crew Lane is not up to the standard to carry 25 or 30 ton lorries on a regular basis.

“In addition to the weight of the lorries there is the size of them to consider.

“They are clipping the verges as they turn the bends. Where do cyclists, walkers and riders go when they meet a lorry, bearing in mind the verges are often flooded?”

Mr Keith Maxey of Newark Road, Kirklington, farms land around Crew Lane and his mother, Mrs Doreen Maxey (66) lives on the lane.

“Crew Lane is part of the Southwell Heritage Trail, it is a public footpath and public bridleway and all these things combined with lorries are a major health and safety risk,” he said.

Mr Maxey said passing bays, which Premier Mushrooms said they would provide to prevent traffic problems on the lane, could encourage anti-social behavior.

“They are likely to be used as parking areas by the general public or by youths hanging around in their cars,” he said.

“Will Premier Mushrooms traffic give way to the general public or will we still be required to scrabble on to the verge to get out of their way?

In December the farm owner, Mr John Horgan, was given permission by Newark and Sherwood District Council to double the number of polytunnels on the site from 12 to 24. That would allow him to increase production by 360%.

Planning committee members later said they were wrongly told before the meeting that Nottinghamshire County Council highways department had withdrawn its objection to the application.

That was not the case but, at a meeting on January 3, it did withdraw its objection after consulting with Mr Horgan about the proposed increase in traffic.

The district council will discuss the planning application again on Tuesday and planning officers have recommended approval.

The county council says it withdrew its objection because the expected increase in traffic was acceptable.

Mr Horgan was unavailable for comment.

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