The Commissioner explained that he did not relish the decision facing him, due to the disparate accounts from Mr Mekitarian and those from the residents, backed up to some extent, by the DVLA investigations.
At the last Inquiry in January, Mr Mekitarian explained that the reason for the HGVs residing for long periods at Crouchland Farm (several days at a time - and overnights) rather than returning to the operating centre in Woking, was because the HGVs were, ‘In use’ whilst at Crouchland Farm, moving around, loading and unloading.
Today, following evidence from the DVLA tracking and tachograph records, he conceded that the HGVs did not actually move, but that they were still ‘In use’ by virtue of the fact that they were loading and unloading (presumably by pipe). He explained that the upload of biomethane at the upload stanchions takes from 5 to 72 hours and that there were often 3 HGVs filling up at one time. This accounts for the gas HGVs presence at the Farm.
He went on to say that the loading of dirty water and digestate into the HGVs can take up to 48 hours, which also accounted for the HGVs being parked at the site for the very long periods of time and not moving.
PORE explained that 'normal' gas upload takes around 5 hours (as stated in the planning documents) and that we have much evidence to show that digestate is 'normally' loaded into the HGVs in around 20-30 minutes.
Therein lies the problem for the Traffic Commissioner, who is not an AD expert.
(Of course anyone could take 6 hours to fill a water bottle from a tap, if they so wished, but the ‘NORMAL’ filling time would be 5 seconds.)
We welcome any relevant evidence from people who know the answers – you know who you are! This would greatly help the Commissioner to decide whether Mr Mekitarian's or the residents accounts are true.
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