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Article from Evening Telegraph 29th June 1978

A fleet of She Products' Vehicles
A fleet of She Products' Vehicles

DELIVERY vans, cars and articulated lorries have turned one of Burton Latimer’s quietest lanes into “hell”, it has been claimed.

Residents of Meeting Lane say that 32-ton lorries delivering to She, a soft drinks firm at the end of the road, have damaged some of the older houses through vibration, smashed lamps on houses, knocked lumps out of walls and torn down an iron handrail. They also say the firm’s delivery staff frequently block the lane with cars so residents cannot get in or out.

The householders are so irate they presented a petition to this week’s meeting of Burton Latimer Council demanding a weight limit of 8-10 tons on access to the lane and parking restricted to residents’ cars only.

In the petition they say lorries up to 50 ft long back up and down the road and load and unload on the roadway about three times a week. They fear a child or an elderly person could be injured due to the narrowness of the lane and because front doors open directly on to the road.

They allege that deliveries have increased over the past six months to an unbearable and dangerous degree. They also complain in the petition about the “inconsiderate and couldn’t care less” attitude of the firm.

Householders’ claims were backed up by deputy chairman Cllr Peter Johnson. He said during an hour-and-a-half he spent in Meeting Lane on a Friday evening he counted 20 cars – 17 of them belonging to employees. “I am quite sure it is pretty intolerable for residents in what was a quiet backwater.”

He saw a case for a weight limit, parking restrictions and a limit on hours of unloading.

The council agreed to propose a joint meeting of four councillors, two representatives each of She and the residents and a representative each from the county council and the police.

But the council’s action does not satisfy the petitioners. “We think any resident who wants to should be able to attend,” said Mrs Roma Thorne.

They want more pressure put on the company as they claimed the firm promised things would be better when it got extra parking space three years ago. “Instead they have filled the yard with crates and it has got worse,” said Mr David Page.

“It is hell living down here,” said Mrs Thorne. She and her husband Geoff said it was so bad they had considered moving. “But why should we? We have been here over 30 years.”

They showed the Evening Telegraph cracks in the houses, alleged to be caused by the lorries, which include petrol tankers, sugar containers and brewery lorries.

Mrs J A Peck, company secretary of She Products, said she thought it was unfortunate the residents had not approached the company before handing in a petition.

“We have for years pressed for double yellow lines in Meeting Lane but with no success. We would completely support any application for such lines.

“We purchased land specially to accommodate six cars but have not been allowed to use it for parking because of council planning restrictions relating to the height of vehicles.”

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