Concrete factory expansion moves nearer

A CONCRETE factory is set to expand its operation despite the move dividing a mid Suffolk community.

A CONCRETE factory is set to expand its operation despite the move dividing a mid Suffolk community.

Poundfield Products applied to Mid Suffolk District Council for permission to expand the area used for their industrial business at Creeting St Peter near Needham Market.

The company wants to create a new store for concrete products at Mill Lane and says it is not seeking to expand its manufacturing area.

It has now emerged that councillors, meeting at their Needham Market chambers, voted to grant consent for the development.

Tim Passmore, leader of Mid Suffolk District Council, said: “I am very pleased that in this difficult economic climate someone is willing to invest in this area.

“Long term jobs are something we need within mid Suffolk, and I am glad we have supported this firm. People keep worrying about travel to work and if there is local work for local people that has to be good.

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“This is manufacturing and that section has declined a lot in recent years and this helps redress the balance, plus it uses an existing site, this is a development on land already used for an industrial operation. This is a boost for our economy.

“We recognise that people have concerns, and I know the owners want to minimise disruption to local people.”

Residents were divided on the plans, with some believing the move will help maintain jobs locally for a firm which makes worthwhile products, and is a good neighbour.

But other villagers fear the plans will become a blot on the landscape, there will be potential noise nuisance, light, dust and air pollution. They also believe there is an inadequate infrastructure locally, it is not an agricultural concern, the scale is inappropriate to farm diversification and a more suitable site should be found.

Andrew Stringer, a Green district councillor, said: “There is an awful lot of heavy traffic generated by this business, and I am very concerned how rapidly this firm is expanding.

“This is very heavy industry and is it located in the best place? The road network is not well served in this area.”

A spokesman for Poundfield Ltd said the business has grown from nothing to a £6m turnover with 70 employees, is not controversial, and conducts its affairs with integrity with a customer list ranging from farmers to ports, the British Airports Authority to the Ministry of Defence.

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