Haulage firm wins planning appeal to stay at Blackpool site despite ‘awful noise’ complaints

A transport company which warned that up to 100 jobs were at stake if it was forced to leave its Blackpool site has won a planning battle to stay.

Fox Brothers won its appeal against the council’s refusal to allow the use of land in the Squires Gate industrial estate for the storage of up to 67 train cars, a workshop and a concrete batching plant. The decision came after the company removed the concrete crushing operation from the application and terms were agreed on hours of operation.

HGV movements from the site are only permitted between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and between 6 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Saturdays Town Planning Inspector Mark Harbottle, who ruled on the appeal, said in its notice of decision: “The crushing, screening, batching and bagging operations and storage of aggregates had an unacceptable effect on living conditions due to sand, dust and noise suspended in the air.

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“Heavy duty movements early in the morning can also cause unacceptable damage to living conditions due to noise.” It grants a planning permit, subject to conditions, for a period of three years.

Blackpool Council’s Planning Committee had refused the application in June 2021 after more than 40 objections were received from neighboring residents who complained of air pollution, environmental contamination and ‘horrendous noise of a concrete crusher and other heavy machinery at the site which the contractor moved to in 2019. But drivers working for Fox Brothers, which employs around 100 workers at the site, warned they could lose their jobs if the business were forced to move out of Blackpool.

A report to the council’s planning committee said use of the concrete plant had now ceased and complaints to the council’s environmental department had also ceased. Susan Parker, head of development management at the council, told the committee: ‘The inspector cleared the appeal but set out a number of conditions and restrictions which addressed all the concerns we had.’

She added that the call did not cost the council any money.