Lost fight for villagers at Wattisham

VILLAGERS opposing a former Ministry of Defence military site being allowed to expand as an industrial park have lost their fight.Mid Suffolk District Council voted to grant permission for all the buildings on the Anglia Site in Ware Road, Wattisham, to be used for industry.

VILLAGERS opposing a former Ministry of Defence military site being allowed to expand as an industrial park have lost their fight.

Mid Suffolk District Council voted to grant permission for all the buildings on the Anglia Site in Ware Road, Wattisham, to be used for industry.

The site near Stowmarket, once owned by the MoD, includes a range of buildings, some pre-fabricated, and already has permission for the land to be used by industry and businesses.

But the council earlier ruled out any industrial operations using buildings within 100 metres of the east and west boundaries, to avoid local people living nearby being disturbed.

This was overturned yesterday and the council was told there may now be a further application to lift the restriction on working hours, to allow businesses to work late if need be.

Michael Turner, councillor for Ringshall, said he was astonished at the level of objection to any kind of development at this site, but felt that there nevertheless was general support for a sensible use of the area.

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Officers recommended the park be allowed to expand operations at the site, which occupies about four hectares and falls within the parish of Ringshall. Applicant Joseph Bahar, of Creeting St Peter near Needham Market, said there had been much interest in the site since it gained permission for businesses last year, but people shied away because of the restriction.

Ringshall Parish Council objected to the bid, arguing it is not in keeping with the village. They believe the surrounding road network is inadequate for such a development and worry about noise and pollution.

The council, which has already approved industry and business use on the site last year, restricted the hours of operation to 7am to 7pm Monday to Friday, and 7am to 2pm on Saturdays; set noise limits; and restricted the use of some buildings on the site because they were deemed to close to homes and could cause a disturbance.

Gary Pullan, planning control manager, believes a condition controlling noise levels at the site would ensure local people are not disturbed by the business activities on the site.

Mid Suffolk District Council's Southern Area Planning Control Committee approved the application.

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