Village split over concrete factory

VILLAGERS are divided over a bid to expand a concrete factory within their community amid fears of extra noise and pollution.

VILLAGERS are divided over a bid to expand a concrete factory within their community amid fears of extra noise and pollution.

Poundfield Products have 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 firm wants to create a new store for concrete products at Mill Lane and says it is not seeking to expand its manufacturing area.

Creeting St Peter and Creeting St Mary parish councils have conditionally supported the application, but parish councillors want restrictions on the height of products stored there to 4.5 metres, lighting to be controlled on site, and landscaping added.

Residents are divided however, 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.

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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.

George Franks, a director with Poundfield Ltd, said the business has grown from scratch to a £6m turnover with 70 employees, and is not controversial.

He said: “At every stage we have conducted our affairs with probity, we now have a customer list ranging from farmers to ports, to the British Airports Authority to the Ministry of Defence (MOD). You do not supply the MOD unless you are an approved business in every way.

“We are still in a critical position regarding storage space at Creeting. The storage area for which we are seeking permission is approximately the same size as the area set aside for production. In most precast concrete operations, the storage area is up to five times the manufacturing area.

Peter Goodyear, senior planning officer, is recommending that full planning permission be granted subject to a string of conditions limiting the hours staff can work on site, landscaping and controlling dust.

Mid Suffolk district councillors will discuss the application during their planning meeting on Wednesday, from 9.30am at their Needham Market chambers.

n. Are you concerned by the application? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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