A parish council in Dorset has raised sufficient funds to launch judicial review proceedings over the county council’s decision to route heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) through the village.
Melbury Abbas and Cann Parish Council is now looking to raise £10,000 as a stretch target to cover a permission hearing. So far it has received pledges for £6,685.
The village of Melbury Abbas lies in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in Dorset.
William Kenealy, chair of the parish council, said on its Crowd Justice page: “Thanks to the decisions of Dorset County Council, it is slowly being destroyed by heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) that are being deliberately routed through the village.
“The road that the HGVs use is the main road in and out of the village, and it is totally unsuitable for large vehicles: the road is narrow, has multiple sharp bends, with steep hills at both ends of the village.”
He pointed out that the C13 also passed through Dinah's Hollow, a rare example of a "holloway" - one of the ancient roads that cross Wessex.
Kenealy claimed that in the past year alone, the police had been called to close the road 15 times for incidents involving HGVs.
“Aside from this the traffic is brought to a standstill multiple times on a daily basis”. There have been over 900 jams lasting an average 34 minutes in the past 12 months,” he said.
Dorset's fire and ambulance services are both understood to have written to the county council asking them to direct HGVs away from the village.
“Despite all of these issues, on 6th December the county council voted to continue to direct HGV's onto the C13. To add insult to injury, the council's consultation process was flawed: residents in the wider area were never consulted with the full range of alternative options,” Kenealy said.
The parish is being advised by law firm Arrandale on the claim.
Cllr Daryl Turner, Cabinet member for the natural and built environment at Dorset, said: “We are aware that an application has been made to judicially review the Cabinet decision on the A350/C13 HGV routing options. We consider that our decision was sound and we intend to defend the application.”