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Controversial large storage container site given green light - despite concerns about visibility

PUBLISHED: 11:55 19 February 2020 | UPDATED: 15:03 19 February 2020

A large commercial container site has been approved for land on the Norfolk-Suffolk border (file photo) Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

A large commercial container site has been approved for land on the Norfolk-Suffolk border (file photo) Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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Plans for a large commercial storage container site on the Norfolk-Suffolk border have been approved by planning authorities - despite objections from community leaders.

Mid Suffolk District Council (MSDC) has granted permission for 55 containers to be stored on disused land part-way between Palgrave in Suffolk and Diss in Norfolk.

Planning documents, submitted by John Barker, confirm the individual containers at the site will be available to rented out.

The site, on land in Lower Rose Lane in Palgrave, was previously used as a works compound by Highways England - but has also been illegally occupied by travellers.

Two previous applications by Mr Barker to allow the land to be used for storage containers were submitted last year, but were both refused due to concerns regarding visibility for motorists.

Documents submitted to MSDC said: "The principle of the development was generally accepted, with the only issue being that of highways."

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Palgrave Parish Council has been long opposed to a storage complex being constructed at the site unless visibility concerns were addressed, arguing that the plans would result in an increased likelihood of crashes on Lower Rose Lane.

Community leaders also said they had data which confirmed motorists regularly speed on the road.

A council spokesman said: "There are many cars recorded that are approaching or exceeding the speed limit of 60mph, and the downhill nature of the northeast bound approach encourages speeding along this stretch of road."

The council criticised the proposed entrance to the site, saying it was too sharp and inappropriate for the speed limit - believing drivers would need to execute a three-point turn.

They have also noted the "creeping industrialisation" between the settlements of Palgrave and Diss and said the new development would be unsuitable for the Waveney Valley.
To address the issue of visibility, Mr Barker's new plans propose constructing splays at the exit of the site for motorists to see oncoming traffic.

The plans also state that no obstruction more than 60cm high will be built or grown near the junction.

Despite the parish council's concerns, MSDC are now satisfied with the developer's visibility plan and have given the storage container site the green light.

MORE: Unusual uses for shipping containers in Suffolk

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