A £16 million plan to build a cement plant at Gonerby Moor has been approved despite concerns over health and noise.
Some members of the Development Management Committee said they had concerns over the possibility of dust escaping from the site as well as noise affecting nearby residents and businesses including Downtown.
Applicant JRL Property Ltd wants to put two manufacturing buildings on the site, one measuring 168m in length and 30m wide and the other 158m in length and 30m wide. The buildings will contain the latest technology to make pre-cast concrete and prefabricated stirrup cages for use by the company’s construction arm.
It says that 250 jobs will eventually be created on the site.
The committee heard that the operation would be 24 hours a day. It was also told that there were would 48 lorry movements to and from the site each day, five days a week, amounting to more than 10,000 movements every year.
Town planner Liberty Stones spoke to the committee on behalf of residents living next to the site. She said residents recognised it was an employment site and supported the creation of jobs but said its use needed to be compatible with those that already exist.
She added: “A noisy 24 hour operation with HGV movements immediately adjacent to existing homes is not a use which is compatible with the surrounding homes. The nearest home to this development is 10 metres.”
Richard Broadhead, managing director of Oldrids and Downtown told the committee: “ The proposal to consider a concrete factory in this location is utterly incongruous. The impact on occupiers in this area will be hugely damaging and it widely expected that a concrete factory will put existing jobs at risk as the area will inevitably become less desirable.”
Frazer Hickling, agent for the applicant, said there was no objections from highways officers to the development and following noise and other assessments no adverse impact on the area had been identified. JRL director Roland Gleeson said all manufacturing was indoors and the cement ‘would not see the light of day’.
Committee member Coun Rosemary Kaberry-Brown said the plan would cause the worst traffic situation to the town had ever seen and Coun Helen Powell said there was no guarantee fumes and dust would not escape from the site.
The committee voted in favour of the plan with six members voting for, four against and two abstaining.