Oxford

New Oxford Westgate shopping centre contractor in village lorry row

The Westgate construction Image copyright Westgate Oxford Alliance
Image caption Hanson said lorries being stuck in roadworks was having an impact on construction work at the Westgate Centre

A contractor supplying concrete for Oxford's new shopping centre has been criticised for breaching an agreement not to drive lorries through a village.

Hanson UK had applied to use Sutton village to prevent mixer lorries getting stuck in A40 roadworks.

A county council report said lorries bound for the new Westgate Centre had been seen using the route before permission had been given.

The firm has apologised for the breaches.

In September 2015 the company was given planning permission by Oxfordshire County Council for a mobile concrete plant at Dix Pit in Stanton, on condition lorries used the A415 and A40 and avoided Sutton.

In November, Hanson said lorries bound for the new Westgate Centre were spending so much time in roadworks that 100 tonnes of concrete, worth more than £22,000, had been lost through prematurely setting while still in mixer lorries.

It applied for a change in the planning permission conditions to allow it to use the B4449 through Sutton.

Image copyright Google
Image caption The company has been restricted from using the B4449 through Sutton

However, council officers reported lorries were using the route before the request was approved, with a driver stopping to ask a council officer directions on one occasion.

The authority said it was "extremely disappointing" Hanson UK had not stuck to the agreement.

The council report said Hanson had apologised for the breaches and insisted it had warned drivers not to use the route.

County councillor for Eynsham, Charles Matthews, said the measures taken by the company "clearly hadn't worked".

"The trouble is the roads are not brilliant because its very narrow, the verges have been driven over and drain covers are sunk into the road," he added

If the council approves the request, 10 loaded mixing trucks could use the route each day until November 2016.

Image copyright Westgate Oxford Alliance
Image caption The new Westgate site will have more than 100 shops

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