The Detchant dispute rears its head again

Bedmax, at Detchant near Belford.
Bedmax, at Detchant near Belford.

Concerns over a new planning statement were aired as the long-running saga of lorries accessing Bedmax through Detchant rumbles on.

At the July meeting of Belford Parish Council, the issue was back on the agenda as the successful horse-bedding manufacturer, based at Greymare Farm, accessed via the U34, had submitted an application to extend its production plant.
This scheme, for a new building which will house a new bales press and packaging machine, follows the approval of an application in May last year which offered an opportunity to implement a traffic management plan to manage the number and times of HGV movements, create four passing places and establish a liaison group to discuss issues.
However, one of the grievances expressed by Malcolm Stanton, from the Residents of Detchant Association (Roda), relates to the lack of action on these obligations.
At last Thursday’s meeting of the council, the application was discussed again as Bedmax has submitted a new planning statement, but Mr Stanton highlighted what he saw as misleading statements about local feeling. He said that it was not just ‘a small number of people’ who had concerns, but every resident of Detchant who fronts onto the U34, and he also pointed out that the liaison group has not met since April.
Susan Wilson, who lives at Detchant Lodge, on the junction with the U34, said: “It’s just a bad job that they haven’t had a meeting since April. I don’t think Bedmax, the council or ourselves are well-informed about what’s going on. Nobody actually knows where anything stands.”
She added: “I think it is only sensible that everything is tied off on the first application before this goes forward.”
Coun Busher Keys said: “I agree with what you say, but I also agree with the expansion of Bedmax. You are being treated as collateral damage.”
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As reported last week, a pilot 20mph zone, with 40mph buffer, is to be introduced in Detchant.