Plans to allow HGVs to deliver to a plant and tree nursery at 5am have been branded ‘ridiculous’ by neighbours.
Quercus Nursery, in Littlehampton Road, Ferring, is currently allowed to receive deliveries from 6am to 7pm but has applied to Arun District Council to have those hours extended.
An application to the council’s development control committee said there would be no more than five 5am-6am deliveries per week – but neighbours were less than happy, with some claiming lorries were already arriving outside the agreed hours.
A letter from Ferring Parish Council said: “These deliveries have continued despite the conditions being imposed with a complete disregard for the planning process and the local community.”
Other objections included one neighbour who said the restrictions on delivery times had been put in place to protect the wellbeing of nearby residents, so should stay as they were.
Another described ‘huge and intolerable amounts of noise and disturbance’ at nights and added: “Whilst I understand that it is a business and there is a need for deliveries, equally there is a need for undisturbed rest in the hours they are proposing and the council should act in consideration of that fact.”
Letters to the council on behalf of the nursery explained that deliveries from Europe needed to be timed to match shipping timetables and restrictions on driving hours.
A spokesman said: “Any delay in the early morning delivery beyond 6am would result in the HGV drivers not having sufficient time to reach the nearest truck stop before the end of their daily driving allowance, after which they are required to take an extended sleep break to achieve the 11 hours rest every day required by EU and AETR rules.”
Some neighbours complained that one lorry had turned up at 3am, which the nursery said had been an error, adding that the lorry didn’t enter the site and nothing was unloaded until after 6am.
Planning officers have recommended that the change in hours be approved, with no more than five deliveries from one vehicle between 5am and 6am from Tuesday to Saturday.
The application will be considered by the committee on Wednesday (June 5). The meeting will be held at Arun Civic Centre at 2.30pm. Members of the public are welcome to attend.
To read the application, log on to www.arun.gov.uk/weekly-lists and search for FG/35/19/PL.