At the planning meeting held on Wednesday 8th July the ENC Planning Committee voted in favour to approve the Haulage Yard at Newbrook Farm. When this contentious retrospective planning application was initially refused back in March 2019, it was condemned by the Chair of the Planning Committee as the “Wrong development in the wrong location.” Eighteen months on, however, and some members of the same committee conveniently found a way to convince themselves that their previous statements had been wrong.
Despite receiving a host of written objections the planning officer, in particular, appeared to be strongly in favour of the application and guided the decision makers accordingly. On the night PC Chair Sara Wilcox and Derek Ellis both made forceful and reasoned arguments against the proposal – but all to no avail. The die was apparently cast long before the meeting ever began and every objection was batted away as an irrelevance.
Perhaps of greatest concern to this community is the fact that the Committee did not lay down any restrictions on the haulage operation. That means, for example, that HGVs are free to turn left out of the farm and drive through Islington 24 hours a day. This failure by the Planning Committee to protect the village aroused a number of heated comments on the village Facebook group. However, in an unexpected turn of events, the owner of the haulage company, Anthony Binns, joined the Facebook conversation and added the following:
As you all know I am the operator of the trucks that are operated from Newbrook Farm. Some of you have met me before and will agree I have a high standard of equipment and not a ‘standard’ haulage operator.
I do understand your concerns about the trucks in and out. I can confirm, I will not allow my trucks turning left out of the gate. This is something I will adhere to and ensure it is not my trucks causing any nuisance to the villagers.
The signs will stay as this is also a ‘restriction’ on our operators license as it is with The Star live site and operators license. We agreed to match this at the time of application.Anthony Binns – Owner AC Binns
If for any reasons you have concerns about my trucks in particular, all of which are branded and 90% have AB or ACB plate, then please let me know and I will speak to the driver directly. I would like to think this would not happen.
I was standing by the road today, and 3 trucks came into the village, all of which were european trucks ‘looking’ for Haldens parkway entrance.
I can assure you I will do all I can to keep things safe.
All of my trucks have trackers fitted, we check there isn’t one coming in as another is going out to limit any passing of large vehicles on the road, however we can not take responsibility for others.
If there is any way we can have more signs at the top of the road I am happy to contribute to costs.
At a time when honesty and integrity are in short supply, these comments are clearly very welcome. Mr Binns did not need to get involved in the converstation but in choosing to do so his intervention should be commended. Whatever the rights or wrongs of the planning decision, we in Titchmarsh are going to have to get along with the haulage yard on the edge of our village. Going forward, for all concerned, we need to ensure that the impact on the lives of the people in this community is as minimal as possible.