Neigbours want firm to quit over road concerns

A lorry stuggles along the road in to Detchant.
A lorry stuggles along the road in to Detchant.

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

Mr Lovett had replied that the board would discuss the matter and try to allay local fears. It would look at ways of reducing its impact on the community, but this would take several months.

Mr Leyland told last Thursday’s 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 had now visited and was to return in two weeks to check drains under the road and see where passing places could be built.

Chairman Coun Michael Young said he looked forward to hearing from the county council. “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. I don’t think they are the victims, because they are making lots of money. I am the victim of their success.”