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Residents warn "someone will be killed"

Click here to see a recent video of quarry lorries in Chalkpit Lane..

Dozens of residents have written in to Surrey County Council making clear their fears that there will be a serious accident if the Council approves the proposed huge daily limit on Chalkpit quarry lorry numbers.

Residents have warned that someone will be badly injured or killed if a daily limit of 150 HGV movements is allowed. They've said that the amount of HGV movements proposed in the transport plan from the quarry operator, Southern Gravel, is just not safe.

There are fears that Surrey County Council is caving in to Southern Gravel over the daily limit despite major safety concerns.

In Southern Gravel's Transport Statement it is proposing a daily limit of 200 movements a day (100 in and 100 out) - see Para 6.7

More worrying still, is that the Statement says that SCC is proposing a daily limit of 150 movements a day (75 in and 75 out) - see Para 1.11.

The Statement can be read on this link: click here

It is also very worrying that Paras 1.11 and 10.12 say that SCC intends the limit to apply only to HGVs importing waste to the site. The number of HGVs used for chalk extraction would remain unlimited.

In an earlier Transport Statement published in January 2016, Southern Gravel said SCC was proposing a daily limit of 56 movements a day (28 in and 28 out) but it was contesting this as unreasonable because "it will limit the ability of the site to function efficiently." It looks like SCC is giving in to this pressure.

Southern Gravel's new Transport Statement says in Paras 5.7 and 5.8 that there were no accidents recorded between 1 January 2012 and 30 November 2016 - but it does not add that the Chalkpit was actually closed during that period.

On 23 June, OLRG wrote to East Surrey MP, Sam Gyimah, asking him to request the Environment Secretary to call in for review the December 2016 decision by the Environment Agency (EA) to issue a permit to Southern Gravel doubling the annual infill limit for Chalkpit quarry from 100,000 to 200,000 tonnes.

The decision was made by the EA without any consultation with residents or, we understand, with Surrey County Council, the relevant Minerals and Waste Authority.

When it made its decision, the EA was aware of the serious concerns of residents about road safety. But EA correspondence obtained by OLRG through a Freedom of Information request, says: 'The local residents concerns are regarding all traffic movements on the highway, which we do not take into consideration. We only look at traffic movements within the site and I have no concerns there, it has established roadways and capacity for the increased volumes.'

We understand that Mr Gyimah has now met with the EA but has been told that the EA can do nothing to alter the decision and that they were under no obligation to consult as they are only concerned with what happens within the site.

To listen to BBC Surrey coverage of the Chalkpit quarry lorries story click here

It is now more than 5 years since Surrey County Council began considering this matter. It was in June 2012 that it began a review of planning controls on the quarry which it was hoped would at last bring in a safe and reasonable daily limit on the number of HGVs.