Dear Sir or Madam,
I am writing to restate my strong opposition to the two Barnham quarry related planning applications due to be discussed by the SCC Development & Regulation Committee on Monday 31st October 2022.
This application will have a significant detrimental effect on the quality of life for the residents that I represent on Thetford Town Council, Breckland Council and Norfolk County Council as a Town, District and County Councillor.
Residents of Bury Road and Brandon Road will be particularly impacted and many wrote to object to the planning application some time ago and I am sure that their objections still stand, as do my own.
These roads already have significant issues with HGVs plus a significant amount of other traffic. This causes severe noise disturbance, all hours of the day and various issues with vibrations. Cars are routinely damaged along Bury Road too. We see drain covers damaged on a regular basis plus damaged kerb stones from HGVs mounting the pavements as two HGVs (and often some HGVs and cars) are unable to pass safely. This area is not safe for pedestrians and cyclists and I routinely receive complaints about this. There are numerous recorded collisions along the A134 in Thetford already.
The report before the committee notes an additional 4 vehicle movements per hour but fails to recognise that this is on top of the significant levels of traffic that exist already. All of these new vehicle movements will be from very large vehicles, often full of very heavy material. The resulting noise and air pollution is not acceptable.
The 2019 Thetford Network Improvement Strategy commissioned by Norfolk County Council concluded that:
The AM and PM peak traffic speed maps show key areas of congestion in the morning along a large section of the London Road and at the London Road / A134 traffic lights.
In the PM peak congestion worsens along the London Road / A134 traffic lights.
One of the proposed actions from this was to commission a Network Pinch Point and Key Junctions Assessment including Nuns Bridges Road – I do not believe this has happened
The report notes that the A134 Brandon Road / London Road / A134 Bury Road junction: “The signalised junction is operating at capacity in the 2018 observed scenario and over-capacity in the 2036 future scenario with the Thetford sustainable urban extension” – Thetford has already seen significant growth since the data was collected in 2017/18 and the junction here may already be over capacity.
Regarding data collected – “ANPR and ATC data analysis showed that between 4,000 and 6,000 daily trips route between the south and east of Thetford (both directions), many of which route via Nuns Bridges, also via Norwich Road and the A134”. The report notes “that some 200 HGVs per day routed southbound on the A134 Bury Road”.
In the conclusion of the report it states: “There are issues on the A134 to the South of the town, traffic volumes on Nuns Bridges Road and junction within the town”.
If this planning application is to prooced, Suffolk County Council should be insisting on a route that does not cause such significant additional detrimental issues for the residents of the A134 Thetford Road at Barnham, and the approx. 200 homes that line the route of the Bury Road and Brandon Road in Thetford.
I would ask that the committee consider the implications of this application on these residents and whether enough has been done to review the impact on them and whether any amendments could be made to the proposal to improve this. Without thoroughly exploring these options the committee will not be giving due regard to the dozens of residents that wrote to object to these proposals.
I am happy for you to share my email with the officers and / or committee members as you see necessary.
Councillor Terry Jermy
Norfolk County Councillor – Thetford West Division
Breckland Councillor and Thetford Town Councillor – Thetford Burrell Ward