Residents fear extended hours to former RAF base Rushcliffe could be an ‘accident waiting to happen’

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Residents fear the extended delivery times for heavy goods vehicles to the former RAF Newton airfield could be an imminent accident.

Rushcliffe Borough Council councilors will decide on August 11 whether to allow the claimant, Simon Waterfield, to increase delivery and distribution hours at the Wellington Avenue site.

The site includes several former aircraft hangars originally built as part of the former Royal Air Force station at Newton, which until relatively recently housed a wide range of buildings and bunkers.

With the exception of the old control tower, which has been converted to residential use, and larger hangars, the old RAF buildings have now been demolished and the site is largely cleared.

A residential development of 528 houses has also started.

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Currently, deliveries and distribution associated with some of the existing hangars, including plant and equipment, can only take place between 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. (Monday to Friday) and between 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. (Saturdays but not Sundays and holidays).

The variant on the town planning application wants to see the schedules extend between the hours of 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (Monday to Friday) and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Saturdays, but not Sundays and holidays).

Cllr David Simms (Cons), East Bridgford Ward Councilor, opposed the proposals, saying: ‘The increased hours will lead to an increased likelihood of an accident resulting in injury, illness or death to people following the park activities business.

It also states that “increased local noise and environmental pollution” will affect residents’ “health and sleep or rest or quality of life”.

Newton Parish Council also says it ‘strongly opposes’ overtime because it will increase ‘noise, dust and pollution from vehicles adversely affecting the health of children and pedestrians’.

They also object on safety grounds, as vehicles are “already speeding down this road and it would get worse.”

The applicant argues that the modified hours will allow for “greater flexibility” and that Wellington Avenue is no longer the only access point to the site after the opening of the link road.

An environmental health official initially raised concerns about noise, but a noise assessment said the proposed increase in hours of use “is expected to have no or insignificant effect” on residents.

The council also worked with the requester to come up with the new delivery times proposed as part of the request. Prior to these revisions, there were 151 letters of objection.

Residents said: ‘There are daily occurrences of lorries driving through the estate because they are following their sat nav rather than the signs and getting stuck and dangerously having to turn around.

“Pedestrian safety – as neither of Newton’s two main roads have sidewalks and being in such close proximity to trucks is scary and an accident almost guaranteed.

“With more of us working from home now, we don’t relish the thought of the rumble of lorries from early morning until late at night with the added pollution that will bring.”

A traffic officer said extended opening hours could lead to increased overlap between the working hours of sheds and local residents, which is not ideal, but that in itself does not pose a serious enough risk. for road safety.

Council planning officers have recommended that planning permission be granted.

They concluded: “The request was modified during its determination, reducing the duration of the overtime initially requested.

“Neither the Highway Authority nor environmental health officers oppose the proposal.

“Officers consider that the proposal would, as a result of the reviews, have no material adverse impact on the safety or amenity of the motorways.

“As a result, officers do not consider that allowing an overtime hour in the morning and an overtime hour in the evening on weekdays, and four overtime hours (one in the morning and three in the afternoon) on Saturdays would have the significant impact required to refuse the application.”

Councilors will meet on Thursday, August 11 to determine the fate of the application.

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