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Lurgan residents fear ‘hundreds of extra lorries’ if storage plan goes ahead

'There has to be recognition of residents' human rights'

Annesborough residents

A group of Lurgan residents have come together in a bid to stop a new cold storage unit and lorry park being built on their doorsteps.

It is understood more than 200 residents living in five developments in the Annesborough area have signed a letter voicing their strong objections to the plans.

They estimate the development, planned by MM Freight for the neighbouring industrial area, could mean hundreds of extra lorries driving through the area.

They say this would have an adverse effect on their safety and quality of life.

Residents have already noticed a big increase in the amount of lorry traffic in the past three or four years and they say the prospect of more heavy traffic would make their lives unbearable.

David McCrea, who lives in The Grange, said the plan “totally changes the character of the whole area as well as having a detrimental effect on wildlife”.

Resident Grace Carville said she had lived beside the industrial estate for 30 years and had never experienced the current level of heavy haulage on the Annesborough Road.

“Council’s planning department continues to grant applications to developers to build more homes within close proximity to the industrial estate and also granting applications to bring heavy haulage to the area,” she said.

“There has to be recognition of residents’ human rights.”

Ciera McCrory, who has lived in the area for more than 25 years, said she very rarely walks there because of safety concerns due to the expanding industrial estate.

“I’m increasingly worried about the danger on the road because of speeding lorries” she said.

Noeleen Gorman and Geraldine Moore, who are neighbours in Drumna Walk, also said they are already worried about speeding traffic on the road.

“We also see many lorries going over the speed limit. There is a major danger to children.”

In the neighbouring Turmoyra Court, Geraldine Stevenson said she is concerned about the increase in noise levels and traffic from more lorries and cars.

It is the latest issue residents have faced in the area in recent months. They claim that in January, 41 trees, which had served as a natural barrier between the residential area and industrial estate for decades, were felled behind homes in Annesborough Mews.

One of the residents claimed another developer had removed the trees in error, “despite planning permission stipulating they were not to be removed”.

“I am looking straight out onto the side of a warehouse,” said Martin O’Hagan who lives behind the site.

“The wildlife has disappeared in my garden. I would throw stuff out for squirrels and they’ve disappeared.”

The residents are calling on statutory agencies to address the concerns of residents.

They are also urging Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council to consider the serious safety, health and environmental concerns that have been raised and refuse the application.

The application had been due to go before the planning committee this week but residents were told on Tuesday that it had been pulled from the schedule to allow for further surveys.

A spokesperson for Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council said: “The application was scheduled for consideration at the Wed 5 April meeting of the Planning & Regulatory Services Committee, but was withdrawn by the council to facilitate a further review and assessment of the traffic impact of the proposal.”

The council was also asked for a comment on the felling of the trees.

A spokesperson for the Department for Infrastructure said: “The Department is continuing to assess the consultation on the proposed development.”

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