Battle over Blackpool haulage depot set to go before planners

A Blackpool haulage firm looks set to be told it cannot operate from a site close to residential properties after complaints were made about the ‘horrendous noise’ of a concrete crusher on the land.

Friday, 4th June 2021, 6:39 pm

Fox Brothers (Lancashire Ltd) is seeking planning permission from Blackpool Council to use land at Squires Gate Industrial Estate on Squires Gate Lane for the storage of up to 67 wagons, a workshop and a concrete mixing plant.

But town hall officials are recommending the application is refused when it goes before the council’s planning committee on Tuesday.

More than 40 objections to the contractors depot, which is already operating, have been received mainly from residents of nearby Oakwood Close, but also from Common Edge Road and businesses on Amy Johnson Way.

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The application is due before Town Hall planners on Tuesday
The application is due before Town Hall planners on Tuesday

Evidence against the scheme from residents includes photographs of sand covered windows, with further issues including the risk of air pollution and environmental contamination.

A report to councillors also sets out concerns about the “horrendous noise of the crusher in operation” as well as “severe noise pollution in the form of heavy plant machinery maneuvering around the site”.

It adds: “The eastern site boundary is within 100 metres of residential housing on Oakwood Close.

“Since site activities commenced last year, the Environment Agency (in addition to the council) have received a significant number of complaints about noise and dust from local residents, and continue to do so.”

Residents have submitted images of lorries operating on the site

It is also feared the closeness of the depot to the Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone would jeopardise its ability to attract “new, modern, hi-tech companies and their staff into the area.”

Planners say: “The adverse environmental and social impacts of the proposal are considered to outweigh the economic benefits.

“As such the proposal does not represent sustainable development and refusal of permission is recommended.”

In its application submitted last October, Fox Brothers said securing the site would protect up to 100 jobs.

The company says it has taken mitigation steps to stop the crushing and recycling activities on the site and in the future will use the depot solely for its haulage fleet and bagging operations.

A spokesman said: “We have listened to the complaints we have received and taken action. The concrete plant has not been used, crushing which was the focus of concern no longer takes place at the site.

"The main activity is the haulage fleet and of course there is a degree of noise associated with this work too but then, this is an industrial estate there are a number of other companies on the estate who use heavy goods vehicles.

“We currently employ around 100 people at the Squires Gate Industrial Estate, we are a Blackpool business, we were founded here and we’re proud of our roots. We hope the council and residents can see that we have addressed their concerns.”

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