Company behind Ottery St Mary housing development apologises over HGV onslaught


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Residents spoke out after being subjected to convoys of lorries

The company behind an Ottery housing development has apologised after a sudden onslaught of heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) left residents fearing for their safety.

Householders raised the issue when work commenced at the Gerway Nurseries site last week - with convoys of HGVs using the ‘unsuitable’ Sidmouth Road from The Bowd for access.

One Wiggaton resident clocked 11 lorries passing ‘dangerously’ close to his house in just a 55-minute period and said not only were the many listed properties in jeopardy, but also the safety of pedestrians and other road users.

David Wilson Homes, which is building 45 properties on the site, has promised to direct all contractors to follow the approved route through the town in future.

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Town councillor Geoff Pratt welcomed the news and said he had been inundated with complaints about the sudden convoys of vehicles and anger at the lack of consultation.

Cllr Pratt said: “Residents were being subjected to convoys of HGVs, causing damage to private driveways and potential damage to listed buildings. It was putting a lot of strain on Wiggaton and surrounding villages like Tipton St John. I welcome comments from the company and trust that the contractors will now conform to the highways requirements.”

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John White, of Sidmouth Road, said: “The backlog of traffic that builds up and people consequently becoming impatient is becoming dangerous. It is an elderly population and trying to walk through the village is absolutely hazardous at the moment. We had no notification - the lorries just started coming through.”

Mr White, a former local authority deputy chief executive, said the situation was extremely stressful for many residents.

The managing director for David Wilson Home, Paul Moran, said: “We always strive to minimise the effects of construction and apologise to anyone who has been inconvenienced. We have reminded all contractors involved that they must turn left out of the site and follow the approved route through the town centre.”

Devon County Council highways boss Stuart Hughes said: “We previously requested that construction traffic access via the A30. We have taken up the issue with the contractor, who will be reinforcing the message with its drivers.”

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