RESIDENTS in Stanford-Le-Hope are celebrating after a controversial planning application was binned, signalling what could be the end of a four-year feud with a demolition company.

Squibb Demolition had applied for retrospective planning permission to operate large lorries out of the StanHope Industrial Park, in Wharf Road, from 6am.

The company, which moved on to the park four years ago after it was granted outline planning permission for industrial use in 2004, was operating lorries out of the site, blighting the lives of residents living along the narrow road.

But at a tense meeting last Thursday evening, Thurrock’s planning committee voted to reject Squibb’s latest bid to begin moving lorries at 6am.

The application had been recommended for approval by Thurrock’s planning officers, but after representation by the chairman of the Stanford-le-Hope Forum Terry Piccolo and ward councillor Shane Hebb, the recommendation was overturned.

The application was rejected on the grounds that the lorries would “cause damage to local amenity” that “Wharf Road is unsuitable for the number of HGVs and abnormal load vehicles proposed” and the application for 150 lorry movements a day significantly exceeds previous permission.

Since then the firm, which was unavailable for comment, has appealed against the decision.

Cllr Hebb said: “I am delighted the committee has supported local residents.

“Wharf Road is a residential area, with houses close to the road, and local people’s lives are being made a misery by lorries speeding and waking people up in the early morning.

“Nobody wants to be woken at 6am by their home shaking, as a three-tonne truck zooms past, a few metres from the front door.”

Tory leader Cllr Phil Anderson said afterwards: “The site in question is an industrial one.

“However, this does not give businesses a free reign to impact on residents.

“Squibb’s use of the site is somewhat different to what was originally envisaged – their business is much more lorry intensive.”