CONTROVERSIAL plans to allow articulated lorries to drive through a village to collect eggs from a chicken farm are set to be approved.

No lorries are allowed to access the site, off Broad Highway in Wheldrake, between 7.30am and 9.30am and 2.45pm to 6pm on weekdays. This is to prevent the vehicles clashing with traffic going to and from Wheldrake With Thorganby Church of England Primary School. And large goods vehicles are forbidden from driving into the farm on weekends or Bank Holidays.

The owner of the chicken farm, which houses 32,000 hens producing eggs for pharmaceutical products, has now applied for permission for lorries to access the site at all times except 8.20am to 9.30am and 2.45pm to 6pm on weekdays.

But York Outer MP Julian Sturdy and 68 residents have objected to the plans.

Mr Sturdy said in a letter to the planning team: “Whilst I fully accept and appreciate the operational restrictions on the applicant’s business, I have great concern about applications being accepted and then restrictions put in place to protect the community being subsequently removed. I would therefore like to place on record my opposition to the removal of condition 20 of the previous planning permission.”

A report prepared for City of York planning committee says residents also said lorries “destroy verges” and “scare horses.”

People also raised concerns about more vehicles travelling to and from the site if the restrictions are eased, that the road is not wide enough and that the lorries are a danger to schoolchildren.

Wheldrake Parish Council said they are content for the weekend restrictions to be lifted but not for the morning restrictions to be changed.

But council officers have recommended that members of the planning committee approve plans to ease the restrictions.

The report says there are only two egg collection lorries visiting the site each week and adds: “The application is submitted as a result of difficulties faced by the egg unit in ensuring that eggs are collected at a time that does not breach the 7.30am weekday limit for lorries leaving the site.

“It is considered in the context of the low number of egg collections that will occur and the restrictions that will be in place at primary school start and finish times, the variation of condition 20 is considered reasonable.

“Any users of the route would need to be aware that other motorised vehicles, including lorries and large agricultural vehicles can travel along the route at any time of the day or week.”

The planning application will be discussed at a meeting at West Offices on Thursday.