A PUBLIC inquiry has been launched into whether lorries should be allowed to travel down a residential road in Stanford-le-Hope as early as 6am.

Residents have complained long-and-hard about the haulage lorries that use Wharf Road as a route to access the StanHope Industrial Park, saying the lorries disturb them late into the night and in the early morning.

The application, by Squibb Group, for lorries to use the depot from 6am was rejected in January by Thurrock’s planning committee, on the grounds it would “cause damage to local amenity”.

An independent Planning Inspector will now decide whether the company can use it from 6am.

Shane Hebb, Conservative councillor for Stanford West, said the houses along the Victorian era road were not designed with hundreds of lorry movements every day.

He said: “Residents have complained for years about these lorries damaging local roads and parked cars, as well as noisy disturbances in the night.

“Those who make the final decision must weigh up the balance between the needs of business and residents, and it has been clear to me throughout that these proposals do not give enough consideration to the residents.”

Residents launched launched a petition in August 2012 against Squibb, saying they needed to respect the residents living on the road.

Director Robert Syms hit back, saying his company only used 30 lorries a day and said: “It’s a public highway, you’re allowed to drive a lorry on it.

“I have made sure the inquiry is aware of the plight of local people if they decide to grant these permissions.”

The decision will not be known until the inquiry reports back to the Secretary of State for a final decision.