The controversial use of railway sidings for deliveries to a haulage company has been granted permission - despite neighbours claiming it has left their homes covered in dust.

Families living at Redbrick Cottages and Station Terrace, next to a railway siding close to Brandon Railway Station, have long complained about issues stemming from the operations there.

The site is used by company Rory J Holbrook, which unloads aggregates, such as sand and gravel, arriving by rail, before distributing them in lorries.

The sidings are the property of Network Rail and, after neighbours complained about dust and noise from the site, council officers established the rail operator had put in a new railway siding track to serve the aggregate company.

Thetford & Brandon Times: Aggregates are unloaded from the train at the Brandon sidings and distributed on trucksAggregates are unloaded from the train at the Brandon sidings and distributed on trucks (Image: Norfolk County Council)

But Network Rail did not have planning permission for that, so an application for retrospective permission came before members of Norfolk County Council's planning committee on Tuesday.

Councillors heard objections and concerns raised by nearby residents, Brandon Town Council, Weeting Parish Council, and councillors from Breckland and West Suffolk councils.

Thetford & Brandon Times: The site at BrandonThe site at Brandon (Image: Norfolk County Council)

Officers said dust suppression machines had been installed and fences to protect neighbours from noise, although Conservative councillors Martin Storey and Tony White questioned how effective the fence would be.

Officers from Breckland District Council said there had been a number of previous complaints from people living nearby and that the authority had worked with the operators and the residents to try to resolve problems.

Thetford & Brandon Times: Victor LukaniukVictor Lukaniuk (Image: Archant)But Victor Lukaniuk, who represents Brandon on Suffolk County Council, called for a wheel wash to be provided, to stop trucks spreading mess and for lorries to be directed away from Brandon High Street.

Thetford & Brandon Times: BrandonBrandon (Image: Sonya Duncan)

He said: "When it is dry, the station is laden with dust and when it is wet, it is laden with white slime."

He said redirecting trucks was a "small price to pay" to protect Brandon.

Thetford & Brandon Times: One of the dust machines at the Brandon railway sidingsOne of the dust machines at the Brandon railway sidings (Image: Norfolk County Council)

The planning committee agreed, with 12 votes and one abstention, to grant retrospective permission.

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But they added conditions that Network Rail needed to provide a wheel wash for vehicles leaving the site and that trucks should be routed via the A1065 and A134  to join the A11, rather than through Brandon High Street.

Thetford & Brandon Times: Martin StoreyMartin Storey (Image: West Norfolk Council)

Mr Storey said: "Brandon High Street is a nightmare. We must not do anything to make that worse than it already is."