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Extra truck refused for residents’ sake

  • 03 July 2013
  • By Roger Brown

South East traffic commissioner (TC) Nick Denton (pictured) has refused a company permission for an extra truck at its base in Hastings, as it would result in further interference to local residents’ comfort and standard of living.

At a May public inquiry in Eastbourne, the TC was told how a Vosa traffic examiner visited the Hobart Court Property Management site in Bumpkin Shaw Yard and concluded that, if the hours of vehicle movements were limited, there was enough space to increase the number of vehicles parked at the site from one to two.

However, the local authority told the TC that the firm did not have planning permission to park LGVs in the part of the yard where it proposed to park the second vehicle and was already parking its existing vehicle.
A nearby resident, John Kent, told the TC that noise and fumes from the first vehicle penetrated his house and that this would be made worse by a second vehicle. The TC asked whether Kent’s opposition could be withdrawn if the firm parked its vehicles further away from his house, to which Kent said it would. But the firm said it didn’t have room to park in that location, because containers were already parked there.

During the hearing, one of the firm’s directors, Philip Rijke-Pearson, offered to mitigate the impact of the extra vehicle by putting up a 2m fence between the yard and the residential property. He added it was unlikely both vehicles would be used on the same day, suggesting an extra LGV wouldn’t cause any further environmental impact on neighbours or the surrounding area and that it would conduct only two movements a day. In his written decision, the TC referred to an appeal case for the same site, where upper tribunal judges had concluded the location and configuration of the site made it unlikely to be suitable for more than one vehicle.

The TC – who made his own site visit before the inquiry – added: “The fumes and noise from this vehicle have caused distress to the Kents; a second vehicle parked in the same location would exacerbate [this]. I might have been prepared to grant the application if Hobart Court had agreed to the proposed condition that it park the two vehicles to the east of the office shed. However, Pearson said that parking his vehicles here would not be possible, and he could not accept the proposal.”

The TC refused the application, saying the effects of another vehicle on the residents’ comfort outweighed the legitimate commercial interests of the company


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