HGVs thundering through narrow roads are causing headaches for villagers.

Posters have gone up all over Wroughton, Chiseldon and Wichelstowe in opposition to Earthline after the quarry management company installed a new office building and an extension to the hangar it uses at Wroughton Airfield as well as a vehicle weighbridge and ramp, a fuelling area for lorries, a vehicle washing unit and areas of hardstanding.

Neighbours have been woken up by noisy lorries, seen their walls shake with vibrations from the load-bearing vehicles, and worry about using narrow pavements safely since the HGVs often creep up onto the kerbs to pass each other.

The council told the company in December 2020 it must remove the new facilities because the site was not appropriate but Earthline is appealing the decision.

A group of villagers met at the Patriot’s Arms in Chiseldon on Sunday to decide when and where to have a public protest ahead of this appeal which will be held at the Civic Offices from 10am on May 10.

Swindon Advertiser:

Jenny Jeffries led the meeting.

She said: “This is not a NIMBY protest, this is to do with safety, damage, and blatant flouting of planning laws.

“It’s ridiculous to have these lorries going round such tight corners and thundering down Wroughton’s High Street at all hours.

"The centre of New Road has caved in and pipes have burst. Near The Toll House, the verges have been churned up and the HGVs pass right next to people’s bedrooms.

“We need to mention the impact this is having on the roads, the communities, and people’s mental health, and that it’s near an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

“The number of signs and posters [against Earthline] is increasing – it’s great to see so many out there and making a positive impact."

Chris Evans said: “It’s having a huge impact on us. The road has been torn up and the noise and vibrations are so loud – particularly for people who live on the corner.

“The rumbling wakes me up every morning, they come two or three at a time, then there’s a pause, then three more come.

“The roads are unsuitable and the base is now unstable.”

Swindon Advertiser:

Kay Fisher said: “It’s not just Earthline, HGVs in general are an issue here, but theirs are the worst because they’re the biggest and full of earth.

“Leading up from Green Lane to The Pitchens, there is a tall stone wall with a very thin pavement which the lorries climb onto if they need to pass each other because the road is so narrow.

“It’s dangerous, because if a pedestrian is on that path, they’re stuck between a wall and a huge lorry which might not see them.”

Swindon Advertiser:

Jayne Hanks added: “The roads were built for horse and carriage, and they are very narrow, so HGVs are not meant to come through these villages, especially not this many.

“I’ve lived on Brimble Hill for 35 years and can’t walk safely at the bottom of the hill now because of all these lorries.”

Earthline's case argues: “Operations inherently require large open areas with good access to highway infrastructure. No such land was available to the appellant within the Swindon Urban Area. Therefore, Earthline sought to establish their operations within close proximity to Swindon and at a location with suitable highway and communications infrastructure.

“The site cannot be considered entirely rural and unaffected by commercial and industrial development as there are well-established forms of development upon the site and across the wider airfield.”

Swindon Advertiser: