Protesters to ‘carry coffin’ as they stage ‘death’ march in Cambridgeshire village against plans lodged by Haddenham company
Protesters “carrying a coffin while following the grim reaper” will march against plans to create a new irrigation reservoir in Haddenham - which could see an extra 150 lorries travel through Earith every day leading to its “death”.
Residents of the Cambridgeshire village say houses are being shaken, roads are being wrecked and the area is being “destroyed” by the increasing volume of daily traffic – about 800 of which are lorries.
But that number would increase if plans for the new irrigation reservoir and gravel extraction site at nearby Haddenham are backed by Cambridgeshire County Council.
William Dennis, of Dennis (Haddenham) Ltd, applied in April last year for permission to construct irrigation reservoirs via the extraction of sand and gravel from a site off the A1123 at Hill Row Causeway.
However, Earith residents are adamant that their voices will be heard at the protest they are staging on January 27 called ‘Death of a Village’.
They say they will be “following the grim reaper and carrying a coffin while feigning death at points along the route” from the village hall along the High Street and then back again.
Elizabeth Sandercock, co-leader of the protest, said: “We are fed up of our village being used as a rat run.
“Our protest calls on the council to enforce the ‘diamond’ policy, whereby lorries bypass the A1123 between Huntingdon and Streatham and instead use the A141, A142, A10 and A14.
“We believe that not only will this reduce the illegal levels of particulate pollution along the High Street, but it will also benefit the companies who use HGVs as they will save on fuel and time costs by using the advised routes.
“Without these changes, we fear that our village will become a lost community and, worse still, that we will soon see a fatality right on our doorsteps.”
The application also requests permission to widen vehicle access onto the A1123 at Doles Drove, construct a mineral processing plant and three temporary office buildings at the site.
The applicant says that lorries going to and from the site will “likely” head towards St Ives via Earith and Bluntisham but added that it would be temporary while extraction took place and there was “nothing to suggest there would be any constraints to goods vehicles using the A1123 through the village”.
The protest march is scheduled to take place on January 27 from 10.30am, starting at Earith Village Hall. Anyone is welcome to attend.
MP for North West Cambridgeshire, Shailesh Vara, also visited Earith last month to hear concerns from villagers.
A decision on the plans had been scheduled for later this month but it is understood that the decision has been delayed under February while more information is considered by officials at the county council.