Residents of the Sombornes fear for children's safety

Hampshire Chronicle: Residents of the Sombornes fear for children's safety Residents of the Sombornes fear for children's safety

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 that traffic from Redwood UK, which assembles agricultural machinery, is not suitable for the area’s narrow roads.

On Friday (NOV 29), around forty campaigners gathered to show their anger.

One resident, Deanna Reyes, who is retired and 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 fulltime 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 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 UK does not have planning permission for their business.

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

But 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 are not suitable for the kind of traffic coming to and from Redwood UK and suggesting 40foot tarmac lay-bys for passing places.

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

King’s Somborne Parish Council have said they are sympathetic to the villagers.

Cllr Rob Lane, of King’s Somborne Parish Council, 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 next week.

Comments (2)

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10:51pm Mon 2 Dec 13

Sarahhfield says...

Thank goodness this issue is finally getting the attention it needs - it's been harrowing living in the Sombornes for the last few years waiting for a serious accident to happen as Forest Extra traffic thunders through the steep narrow lanes. Children, walkers, cyclists and pets are no longer safe. Enforcement action is long overdue - it seems the authorities are turning a blind eye to 'Mr Browning' and it's about time 95% of the local residents were properly represented. Please please refuse the retrospective planning permission application - two previous applications for legal use have failed after all - and stop this blight before someone gets killed.
Thank goodness this issue is finally getting the attention it needs - it's been harrowing living in the Sombornes for the last few years waiting for a serious accident to happen as Forest Extra traffic thunders through the steep narrow lanes. Children, walkers, cyclists and pets are no longer safe. Enforcement action is long overdue - it seems the authorities are turning a blind eye to 'Mr Browning' and it's about time 95% of the local residents were properly represented. Please please refuse the retrospective planning permission application - two previous applications for legal use have failed after all - and stop this blight before someone gets killed. Sarahhfield

3:29pm Tue 3 Dec 13

Lisbeth Rake says...

If the business at Forest Extra does not currently have planning permission presumably the owners are in breach of the regulations or possibly even the law. Even should they receive permission this time, what are the sanctions they face for the years they have already been in operation to the detriment of the quality of life in the hamlets? If permission is not granted can they just put in another (4th) application or appeal? IF TVBC lose the appeal who pays the legal costs? It would be interesting to know how many retrospective applications are granted by TVBC and WCC. Sounds like an ingenious way of getting round planning rules. Ignore the regulations, only apply afterwards and hope the local authority will accept the status quo.
If the business at Forest Extra does not currently have planning permission presumably the owners are in breach of the regulations or possibly even the law. Even should they receive permission this time, what are the sanctions they face for the years they have already been in operation to the detriment of the quality of life in the hamlets? If permission is not granted can they just put in another (4th) application or appeal? IF TVBC lose the appeal who pays the legal costs? It would be interesting to know how many retrospective applications are granted by TVBC and WCC. Sounds like an ingenious way of getting round planning rules. Ignore the regulations, only apply afterwards and hope the local authority will accept the status quo. Lisbeth Rake

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