Contractors moved onto the Foldgate Lane site last Monday. They are setting up a construction compound ahead of felling more than 100 trees from tomorrow (Monday 9 December). A couple of dozen heavy trucks have already driven along Foldgate Lane to deliver stone, machinery and cabins. This is in breach of planning permission, which states clearly that the lane cannot be used for construction access.
This is not an impressive start to this development which has been controversial from the moment the application was submitted. There is no need to fell over 100 trees along the A49 because an alternative access could be used. Officers have told Crest Nicholson that the tree trunks cannot be taken off site along Foldgate Lane.
Crest Nicholson says it will work within the boundaries of the site for a few weeks until works to create an access from the A49. Many questions remain. How will materials to build the T-Junction to the A49 get onto site? This is a lot of material as the main road is several metres above the ground level of the site. I understand much will be excavated from the site itself. But that will be earth and clay, not stone suitable for a road surface.
That might be why Crest Nicholson refers to a haul road from its compound in correspondence. However, planning officers say: “Importation of bulk construction materials via Foldgate Lane is not approved under the outline consent.”
This is one we will have to keep an eye on.