HGVs are a danger to our children, claim protesters

Romsey Advertiser: Protesters aganst the Redwood Uk site gather at Up Somborne Protesters aganst the Redwood Uk site gather at Up Somborne

VILLAGERS in the Sombornes say they fear for the safety of children there because of an industrial site.

Residents of Up Somborne, Ashley and Little Somborne say traffic from Redwood UK, which assembles agricultural machinery, is not suitable for the area’s narrow roads.

Last Friday, around 40 campaigners (pictured above) gathered to show their anger.

Deanna Reyes, who lives next to the site, said: “I had my arm in a cast and I was walking the dogs and a van clipped my plaster. I had to have it remade because it was cracked.”

Sarah Litton, 46, a full-time mother, of Strawberry Lane, warned: “Until a child gets killed by a lorry, nothing will be done.

“I have a nine-year-old and I do fear for her safety.”

Farmer, Grace Everett, 49, of Ashley Farm, denied it was a case of nimbyism.

“I completely agree that there should be development in the countryside, but it has to be appropriate. This is not proportionate and it’s changing the character of the village. People are changing their way of life because they no longer feel safe walking down the road.

“There have been so many near misses, but Highways never record them,” she said.

The site at Strawberry Lane, Forest Extra, in Up Somborne, is used to assemble and repair wood chipping machinery. But the buildings there were built for agricultural use and Redwood does not have planning permission for their business.

A retrospective application to change the use of the buildings has been submitted to Test Valley Borough Council by AJ & CT Browning, believed to be the owners.

Sam Browning, of Redwood UK, declined to comment and would not confirm the names of the owners. He said only that “they are just called Mr Browning”.

A council highways report said the roads were not suitable for the kind of traffic to and from Redwood UK and suggested building a 40ft passing places.

A petition signed by 211 people – around 95 per cent of the three hamlets – has been sent to both Hampshire County and Test Valley Borough Councils.

King’s Somborne Parish Council have said they are sympathetic to the villagers. Parish councillor, Rob Lane, said: “There is just not the room and there are no pavements.

“There is a playing field down there and parents are worried about letting their children use it because of the lorries.

“The county council has invested in industrial parks for this kind of operation, so why do they not use it?”

The application will go before planning chiefs in Romsey on Tuesday.


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