‘Not the end’ for scrapyard appeal following High Court failure
RESIDENTS who claim their lives have been made a misery by lorries travelling to a nearby scrapyard have suffered a devastating blow.
Hopes had been pinned on a High Court appeal, heard last month, against Metal and Waste Recycling, which has a centre in Wallace Way, Hitchin.
Residents claim lorries travelling to that site are a “living nightmare”, and Herts County Council took an appeal to High Court, arguing against a government official’s decision made in 2009 not to impose restrictions there. They claim there has been intensification of use.
But last week, three judges who heard the case dismissed the appeal, although they did question aspects of the government official’s reasoning in their ruling.
District councillor Lisa Courts, who has campaigned for years and lives near the site, said: “Residents feel like their whole world is coming down, that they have been treated like the scrap carried on the lorries.
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“The roads here are just not built for it. Children are woken up, people can’t sleep, and you can’t sit in the garden in the summer without hearing it. It’s a living nightmare.”
It is the second time in a year an appeal has been taken to the High Court, and lost.
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But Cllr Courts has vowed not to give up, and plans to hold a public meeting after the new year. Other ideas are also being explored.
They include creating a link road, building a lorry park, trialling an overnight lorry ban, going to the House of Lords and speaking to MEPs.
Highbury councillor Paul Clark, who has also been closely involved with the appeals, told the Comet: “There are other ways, [but] I’m really disappointed the justice system has let down local residents. They are being totally disrupted all hours of the day and night.
“The [judges] said there was a problem there, but didn’t have the guts to do anything about it.”
Both Herts County Council and North Herts District Council said they would look at the decision to see how to proceed.
Richard Thake, HCC cabinet member for environment, said: “Hertfordshire County Council is disappointed that our appeal has been rejected.
“Our aim was always to try to protect the quality of life of residents living near the site.”
Cllr Bernard Lovewell, NHDC’s portfolio holder for housing and environmental health, added: “We are disappointed with the judgement and understand this will leave many local people feeling extremely frustrated and upset.”