HGVs for Tunbridge Wells North Farm may double

    North Farm Waste Recycling Centre

    A recycling area for aggregates adjacent to the tip in North Farm Lane could be quadrupled in size.

    In April this year, Kent County Council granted planning permission for the ‘importation, storage and treatment of non-hazardous, inert and excavation materials’ next to the Tunbridge Wells Recycling Centre.

    Applicant Oaktree Environmental now wants to increase the maximum amount of material recycled per year to 172,000 tonnes, up from the currently permitted 40,000, and double the consented number of daily HGV movements to 80 from 40.

    Cllr Frank Williams, ward member for Sherwood, is concerned that the proposal could lead to more lorries using unsuitable residential roads during roadworks to implement the A21 Tonbridge to Pembury dualling scheme.

    He said: “If all recycling vehicles go to and from Longfield Road I have no objection to them expanding, but if they use Birken Road and Liptraps Lane then it will be awful for residents.”

    These roads currently have a 7.5-tonne weight limit that Cllr Williams says is being regularly flouted when the A21 is closed for roadworks.

    “I have complained and been told that Kent County Council (KCC) has agreed that the limit can be suspended during the road improvement scheme,” he added.

    Cllr Williams also confirmed that he has formerly lodged an objection which would come into effect if Oaktree submit a new planning application.

    KCC says the new development does not require an environmental impact assessment, but Oaktree Environmental would have to submit a fresh planning application.

    Oaktree Environmental has yet to respond to requests for a comment.