Villagers ask firm to move over lorry use

The road into Detchant which is used by HGVs.

The road into Detchant which is used by HGVs.

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RESIDENTS living near a successful farm business want it to move away because they believe its lorries are too big for the road and jeopardise property values.

Bedmax, the UK’s market-leading producer of dust-free shavings for horse bedding, employs at least 16 people at Detchant, near Belford, where it was set up in 2000 by Tim Smalley and Chris Leyland.

But the stream of lorries along the narrow U34 road to the business is being blamed by neighbours for churning up the wet grass verges and shaking local cottages.

The traffic is also causing anxiety to drivers faced by articulated lorries reversing on to the road to allow each other to pass.

The Residents of Detchant Association (Roda), which represents some households in the hamlet, has met Bedmax director John Lovett.

Councillor Brenda Stanton said: “Roda asked the company to move its production site elsewhere.”

Mr Lovett said the board will discuss the matter and try to allay local fears. He said the company would look at ways of reducing its impact on the community, but this would take several months.

Mr Leyland told the Belford Parish Council meeting that time had been lost because the company had struggled to get a response from the county highways department until local county councillor Pat Scott had stepped in.

Environmental manager Terry Garnick has visited and is to return in a week to check drains under the road and see where passing places could be built.

Parish council chairman Michael Young said: “Hopefully it can be resolved without neighbours falling out with each other.”

Coun Stanton said she was not falling out with anyone and applauded what the business was doing.

“People say they are the victims of their own success,” she said. “I don’t think they are the victims, because they are making lots of money. I am the victim of their success.”

•Belford could be near journey’s end in its campaign to re-open the village railway station.

The £1.5 million project is through to the fourth round of government funding applications, with high hopes of success.

Since the station closed in 1968, travellers have had to go five miles to Chathill to catch a train. Twice a day, local services go to Belford to turnaround, but nobody can alight or board there because there is no platform.

Campaigner Geoff O’Connell, who has been pressing for a rail revival at Belford for about 13 years, said an application was to be made for a government grant.

A station at Belford would be ideal for tourists visiting Bamburgh and Holy Island.

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