Hamlet dispute rumbles on

Robert Jackson, wife Brenda and Malcolm Stanton, from RODA (Residents of Detchant Association) on the road through Detchant near the Bedmax offices.
Robert Jackson, wife Brenda and Malcolm Stanton, from RODA (Residents of Detchant Association) on the road through Detchant near the Bedmax offices.

An ongoing dispute between a successful business and residents of a north Northumberland hamlet continues to cause anxiety.

Residents of Detchant, north of Belford, have long complained about the numbers of HGVs and other vehicles that use the small road through the hamlet to access Bedmax, the renowned firm that produces horse bedding, raising concerns such as road safety, the effect on quality of life and property prices and damage to infrastructure.

Now, the company has submitted a number of planning applications to the county council and Roda (Residents of Detchant Association) is objecting, as it feels that any further development is likely to increase traffic to the site at a time when no solution to the issue has been found.

However, Bedmax says that the applications are designed to deal with planning concerns that have been raised by residents in the past.

Four separate applications are currently lodged with the county council, which relate to retrospective permissions for the erection of a storage building and the change of use of a yard to a car park, a certificate of lawfulness for the use of land as an external storage area and extending the time limit on a scheme to expand the company’s office facilities.

But Robert Jackson, of nearby Detchant Farm, said: “The new planning applications only address the past problems, not the future problems.

“We know it’s a successful business, we know it employs people and we know it’s important for Northumberland, but the situation is going to get worse.”

His wife Brenda added: “I don’t know who else would want HGVs rumbling past from seven in the morning to seven in the evening. It’s not fair.”

Sandra Manson, planning consultant on behalf of Bedmax, said: “With regard to numerous planning matters that have been raised by local residents in relation to the ongoing operations at Bedmax, the current applications that are now with Northumberland County Council address the queries that have arisen.”