Lorry park approved despite '˜grave concerns' over safety

Councillors approved plans for a lorry park despite calls from residents and a parish council to refuse permission on safety grounds.

Walberton Parish Council, along with 33 letters of objection, urged Arun District Council to throw out the application by Stuart Lyons Haulage to construct a hardstanding for heavy goods vehicles in Lake Lane.

The applicant argued the location was adjacent to its main customers and would reduce unnecessary trips between Lake Lane and its current base in Wick.

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But critics argued Lake Lane’s poor condition rendered it unsuitable for such a use.

Speaking after the development control committee meeting last Wednesday, resident Jan Halsted said: “Lake Lane is unsafe for a lorry park, and now hundreds of HGVs will be turning left out of the road and going straight past people’s homes in Walberton. The road will be hideous.”

Councillors approved the plans by eleven votes to two.

Approval will see Stuart Lyons’ current base, at Windroos Nursery, in Worthing Road, redeveloped for 85 new homes.

In addition to new housing, the firm’s managing director Andy Jenner said the plans included conditions preventing HGV movements over the Yapton level crossing at the eastern end of Lake Lane.

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Peter Hayward, traffic consultant for West Sussex County Council, said the move would be beneficial.

He admitted the site was not an ideal location without the context of the growers it served in the vicinity of Lake Lane – but with it, the application represented a ‘net improvement’ on the current situation.

While Yapton Parish Council supported the plans, Walberton Parish Council raised ‘grave safety concerns’ over HGV use of Lake Lane.

The plans also raised concerns with Barnham councillor John Charles.

He said: “Lake Lane is notorious. It is a dangerous road in a dreadful state and not suitable for HGVs anywhere.

“Until they sort the road I don’t think it will do any good there at all.”