More than 200 people attended a public meeting in a Suffolk village last week to support their bakery, which is locked in a bitter dispute with the local parish council over access.
Palmers Bakery, which has been run by the same family in Haughley since 1869, has been told by the council that it must limit the size of lorries using a dirt track across the village green to 7.5 tonnes. The council said it is concerned that the track is being "continually damaged by heavy goods vehicles accessing across the green when delivering goods to the bakery".
But Kieron Palmer, who runs the bakery business with his father, Ken, said that they maintain the track, that it has never been an issue for 200 years, and that only three fairly lightweight vehicles use it each week.
He said that there was unanimous support for the bakery at the public meeting, where councillors were heckled and booed when they tried to justify their decision. He added that 6,000 people have now signed a petition protesting at the parish council’s actions.
Palmer said: "The village green belongs to the people and they want to keep our bakery open. The parish councillors are elected by us and should listen to what we say. If we cannot have access for vehicles delivering flour then we would have to close."
The firm currently employs 18 people in Haughley and more than 50 in total, with shops across Suffolk. Palmer said the Haughley bakery was now the oldest in the county.