Scrap restrictions won by Hitchin residents

A SCRAP metal firm has been told to cut back operations after a campaign by sleepless residents. Williams and Sons in Hitchin has been issued with an enforcement order by Herts County Council restricting the number of lorries using its site and its hours

A SCRAP metal firm has been told to cut back operations after a campaign by sleepless residents.

Williams and Sons in Hitchin has been issued with an enforcement order by Herts County Council restricting the number of lorries using its site and its hours of operation after residents complained about constant traffic to the scrap yard.

It has also been issued with a second order to demolish six buildings and a fragmentiser used to crush vehicles. The council said they had been built without planning permission in the last 10 years as operations have expanded at the Wallace Way site.

Williams has been the focus of a campaign by Hitchin Residents Alliance (HRA) to stop dust, noise and debris from more than 100 scrap lorries driving through residential streets to the industrial area throughout the day and night.


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The order will cut the number of lorries to no more than 50 a day and stop them entering the area before 7am and after 6pm during the week. The numbers will also be reduced to 25 on Saturdays and be restricted to between 8am and 1pm.

Lisa Courts from HRA said: "They are driving past 24 hours a day and any time of the week.

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"We have had anything up to 200 in a day. We all sleep in the back room to get away from the noise.

"We have tried to work with Williams but they don't enforce what they promise. We had to make a stand otherwise we would have to move out. And why should I move? All we want is to be able to live in peace."

A spokesman at County Hall said: "We were alerted by residents to an increase in lorries using this site and an extension in operating hours.

"This change of use is having a detrimental effect on the local community so we have issued two enforcement orders to get the company to cut back on their operations."

But John Rice, director of Metal and Waste Recycling, which manages the Williams plant said the company would appeal the decision.

He said: "Everything we have done on the site has been done with council blessing. We find it difficult to understand where they are coming from."

The order takes effect on June 22, pending an appeal by Williams. The company would then have 13 weeks to implement the changes.

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