Growing concerns over lorries rumbling through historic village

Lorry stuck in the centre of West Hoathly SUS-160519-144926001
Lorry stuck in the centre of West Hoathly SUS-160519-144926001

Concern is growing among residents in West Hoathly over heavy lorries rumbling through the historic village to and from a nearby quarry.

The residents say that the lorries are noisy, dirty, frequently get ‘stuck’ in the village’s narrow streets and they fear that the village’s conservation area is being damaged.

Now the operators of Lambs Philpots Quarry say they are to launch a consultation with villagers to see what can be done.

Dr John Ralph, who lives in North Lane - one of only two roads leading into the village centre - says that the other road - Church Hill - is the one most badly affected and has been dubbed ‘Hell Corner.’

He said: “It has recently become even more ‘hellish’ due to greatly increased articulated HGV traffic to and from Philpots Quarry. Some of these vehicles are up to 18 metres long and can carry up to 80 tonne loads.”

He said at some points in the narrow road, the lorries had to mount the pavement to pass other vehicles.

West Hoathly Parish Council chairman Anne Halligey said that there had been no problems up unti 2013 when the quarry was granted planning permission to expand.

“Since then they have changed the way they are working at the quarry and they are exporting a different type of material. This means we have lots and lots of very big lorries, including articulated lorries, going through the village.”

And, she added: “The trouble is the lorries are so big they are damaging the fabric of the conservation area. They get stuck. They are enormous vehicles and they simply can’t get through the village.”

A meeting to discuss the problem was held last week with members of the parish council, West Sussex County Council and Mid Sussex District Council when residents expressed their concerns. A statement from Philpots Quarry was read out which claimed that all of their activities were strictly in accordance with their planning permission.

Meanwhile, this week a spokesman for Philpots Quarry said: “The vehicles using the route through West Hoathly do so in accordance with the quarry’s planning permission.

“However, we appreciate that there are concerns and will shortly begin a consultation with the local community.”