JUBILANT residents are celebrating after winning the latest stage of a battle with Europe's largest plant hire firm.

Campaigners from Mill Lane, Nursling, Southampton, claim the quality of their life has deteriorated since Brooklyn 4x4 Ltd moved into an old concrete works in September 1998.

The location of the site, owned by Southampton-based parent company SHB Ltd, is right at the end of Mill Lane, a narrow rural road, like a cul-de-sac.

Mike Street, managing director of the storage and repair works, had put in an application for a licence to operate three vehicles including an articulated lorry, with a potential load weight of 28 tonnes, and one trailer.

This was to be used to transport Land Rovers to the site.

But a public inquiry held in the council chamber at Southampton's Civic Centre, chaired by traffic commissioner Philip Brown, turned down the application on environmental grounds.

The inquiry heard evidence from residents of Mill Lane that their lives had been made miserable by vehicles travelling to and from the site and because of noise, dust and vibration.

Nicholas Bagshawe, from Mill Lane, told the inquiry: "Verges have been eroded and we have no reason to believe that this will not be exacerbated by the new movements. "The phrase deterioration of quality of life springs to mind."

Afterwards Mr Bagshawe said: "This business is totally unsuited to its position. We are pleased with the outcome of the inquiry.

"It's a move against this type of business being allowed to do what it wants in an environmentally sensitive area."

He added that the residents were united and embroiled in an on-going campaign to seek improvements to their situation.

After the inquiry Mr Street said: "We are disappointed with the result as it will mean more lorry movements along Mill Lane when we were hoping to have less."

He explained that as the articulated lorry could not be based at Mill Lane it would have to make more trips.

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