• Letter from Cantley Parish Council to the Broads Authority 27.9.2016

    Professor Jacquie Burgess,
    Broads Authority
    Yare House,
    62-64 Thorpe Road, Norwich,
    Norfolk, NR1 1RY
    27th September 2016
    Dear Mrs Burgess,
    Beet Deliveries to Cantley Sugar Factory on Sundays
    At a meeting yesterday evening with Cantley residents, British Sugar announced that they intend to start regular beet deliveries to the Cantley factory on Sundays, beginning next month. Up to now, beet lorries have not run on Sundays except in exceptional circumstances to cover plant failures, bad weather etc. The justification for the change is that the sugar content of beet may drop slightly whilst being kept for an extra day. This has never been raised as an issue before and it is noteworthy that in many cases, beet often stands for days in piles at the side of fields before being transported to Cantley, apparently without degradation.
    Our concern with this development is not only the disturbance and noise to residents in the vicinity of the factory but across the Broads/Broadland/North Norfolk area as a whole, with lorries loading and then negotiating the highways and byways of the region. The beet reception entrance of the factory will be open on Sundays from 7.30am, which means that lorries will be loading and setting out all over Norfolk from 6.00am onwards.
    Sunday is the day when there is much leisure activity in the area with walkers, cyclists and horses taking to the roads which, especially in winter, can be very wet and muddy making it very unpleasant, intimidating and, potentially, dangerous to be overtaken by a heavy lorry.
    In 2012, the Broads Authority gave planning permission to British Sugar for the delivery of raw sugar by road from Great Yarmouth to Cantley (ref. BA/2012/0111/EXT13W). Condition 17 of that permission states that there should be no deliveries of raw sugar on Sundays or Bank holidays “to control traffic movements to the site in the interest of the amenity of adjoining occupiers…” Whilst not directly concerned with beet traffic, this decision indicates that the Broads Authority wished to limit lorry movements on Sundays. The situation with beet lorries will be much worse than that proposed for raw sugar deliveries. Firstly, there will be many more beet journeys than envisaged for raw sugar delivery and, secondly, whereas the raw sugar traffic would have been directly along the A47 and into Cantley, the beet traffic will be from all over the area, causing widespread disturbance. On a typical day there are in excess of 300 beet deliveries to the factory, mostly by articulated lorries, each carrying up to 25 tons (it should be borne in mind that each delivery represents two journeys, one to and one from the factory).
    Robert Beadle
    29A Church Road
    NR13 3SN
    Tel: 01493 701231
    e-mail: [email protected]
    Ray Scrivens
    6 Highland Close
    NR13 3SW
    Tel: 01493 700544
    e-mail: [email protected]
    As planning authority for the Cantley Sugar Factory, we would ask the Broads Authority to place a restriction on British Sugar, or come to some other written agreement, permitting deliveries of sugar beet to take place only on weekdays and Saturdays, other than in exceptional circumstances. This has been the situation for as long as can be remembered and, whilst at present not set down formally (to our knowledge), we can surely claim “grandfather rights” to maintain the status quo. This seems to be a case where a very small commercial gain (if any) will be at the expense of the whole area.
    Yours faithfully,
    cc (by email)
    Keith Simpson MP
    Cllr Andrew Proctor
    CPRE Norfolk
    The Broads Society
    Keep Sunday Special
    Beighton Parish Council
    Cantley Parish Council

  • Email from British Sugar 8.11.2016

    Thanks for the email and I apologise for the late reply.

    Sunday opening commenced on 23rd October and we have now opened for three Sundays. We have received between 24, 28 and 23 loads on the three Sundays which is reflective on the low throughput the factory is currently on as we commission our new factory control system.

    Our Agricultural team have positioned themselves in the layby near the village hall on three mornings from 4:50 to monitor early arrivals and report that there were no lorries through the village before 5:25. We have been quite strong with our message to the hauliers and it appears we have had success as on each occasion we have seen several lorries arriving on the dot of 5:25.

    We have also been monitoring vehicle speed every two weeks and todate have only found one incident of speeding where a driver was spoken to about driving at 45mph.

    We will continue with the fortnightly speed checks and also random early morning checks for early arrivals. Our desire is always to minimise disruption to our neighbours and we will strive to achieve this.

    With kind regards


  • Email from British Sugar 30.9.2016

    Dear Beighton Parish Council,

    You will be aware that when I wrote to you on the 8th August 2016 that we were intending to open our beet intake facility on Tuesday 11thOctober. Please be aware that the opening date for Beet Reception at Cantley has moved from Tuesday 11th October to Thursday 6th October at 6am.  This does not mean the campaign will run longer, we will now close sooner due to the earlier start.

    The opening date has been brought forward in line with our anticipated customer demand. Due to the nature of our supply chain we have had to make this decision at very short notice for which we apologise.

    Kind regards

    Andrew Dear

    Agricultural Business Manager – Cantley Sugar Factory

  • Email from British Sugar 7.9.2016

    Dear Pauline,

    Apologies for the delay in getting back to you. I have recently (Monday) been appointed Factory Manager at Cantley Factory and will take over from Steve Lynn during the next few weeks. Steve has moved into a central business role as Head of Engineering.

    Today, I spent some time with Andrew Dear and Ian Redhead today getting up to speed with recent correspondence to and from both Cantley and Beighton Parish Councils relating to the planned Sunday opening trial for the 2016/17 Campaign.

    Myself, Andrew and Ian would like to attend the Beighton Parish Council meeting next Tuesday evening to introduce ourselves, feed back on some of the issues highlighted in your email (below) and cover any further issues arising from our correspondence dated 8th August 2016.

    You can contact me at any time via email, or call me on 01493 724210 at the factory to discuss this or any other matter.

    I look forward to meeting you on Tuesday evening to introduce myself and hope that we can continue to work with you to produce a solution that works for us and respects our neighbours.

    Kind Regards


  • Clerk’s email to British Sugar 16.8.2016

    Email to Andrew Dear, British Sugar

    We don’t have a meeting until 13th September…is that ok for a reponse?

    I know what the Council’s priority issues will be:
    That Sunday trading means yet another day of misery for those local residents who live on the sugar beet route…
    We receive the same complaints every year:
    – lorries driving towards the factory very early in the morning, starting at 4am ( I know the gates don’t open that early, but lorries go by much earlier, park up near Cantley and wait…). Residents have invited factory managers to stay in their homes over night to experience the noise!
    – The noise of passing lorries, all day, every couple of minutes, made worse by the sunken manhole covers resulting from the installation of the new gas main for the factory, full lorries and then empty, rattling lorries on the way back
    – lorries being driven through the village in excess of the 40mph speed limit – we’ve all seen it. I have followed lorries through the village at 45 to 50 mph despite flashing speed signs. The flashing speed signs are activated all the time as drivers exceed the speed limit. It is impossible as a sole driver to record the numberplate of the vehicles to report them to yourselves but residents have been encouraged to report all drivers seen driving too fast
    – the resultant risk to pedestrians crossing the road, many of whom are elderly, and to drivers exiting Chapel Road and the village hall
    – regular reports of general bad behaviour from drivers, both in Beighton and the heavy vehicles pulling across the A47 in front of cars travelling at 50mph and more at the White House junction, causing cars to brake to avoid collision
    We have had residents in tears at our meetings when they report all this. Every year I write to the factory and to the police, asking for improvements. Every year this continues….
    I suspect residents are going to be very upset about the proposal to open the factory to deliveries on Sundays as it is their one day of peace.
    If a factory manager would be available to attend our meeting on Tuesday, 13th September at 8.00pm in the village hall, that would be great.

    Pauline James
    Parish clerk
    01493 751070
  • British Sugar letter re Sunday opening 8.8.2016

    Registered office
    Weston Centre
    10 Grosvenor Street
    W1K 4QY
    Registered in England 315158
    British Sugar plc
    Sugar Way
    Peterborough PE2 9AY
    United Kingdom
    t: +44 (0) 1733 563171
    f: +44 (0) 1733 563068
    8th August 2016
    Dear Parish Council,
    This year our campaign will probably be the shortest in living memory. It’s due to start on the 11th October and run through into January. Of course exact times always vary based on crop and factory performance.
    Over the last 20 years the factory has worked very closely with our farmers and hauliers to reduce the number of journeys to and from the site. For example, we increasingly backload our vehicles meaning they are full on arrival and departure saving one whole journey. This scheme removed 700 vehicle movements last year alone. We have also worked hard to minimise congestion by allocating tightly policed time slots for our hauliers. We continue to play our part in road safety for the county and now carryout more speed checks and investigations than ever before.
    We have typically opened the beet intake facility Monday through Saturday throughout the campaign. The factory has always dispatched product 7 days a week. However, we have had numerous exceptions over the years when we have opened beet intake on Sundays to help our hauliers and farmers get the crop delivered.
    The sugar industry, the haulage industry and the c. 650 farms that make up our farming community find ourselves under significant inflationary cost pressures. Opening the beet intake facility on Sunday helps us all alleviate this pressure by allowing us to use our facilities more economically. To that end we have chosen this very short campaign to run an extended trial of Sunday opening.
    Please note that we will not be taking any more vehicles onto site. Factory throughput will not increase. The current deliveries will be spread over one more day and therefore there will be a reduction in the number of vehicles delivering per hour during the week.
    We do not expect all beet hauliers to take advantage of Sunday deliveries so the roads will be significantly less busy on a Sunday compared to the rest of the week.
    Please note this is an extended trial not a permanent change in factory strategy.
    Yours faithfully,
    Andrew Dear
    Agricultural Business Manager – Cantley Sugar Factory

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