Highgrove lose planning fight

HIGHGROVE BEDS: The Spen Lane bed firm has been told it cannot extend its hours of work at its factory.
HIGHGROVE BEDS: The Spen Lane bed firm has been told it cannot extend its hours of work at its factory.

GOMERSAL residents can sleep easy after councillors threw out Highgrove Beds’ application for longer hours.

The Spen Lane firm was looking to extend working hours for part of its site to include evenings and more hours at weekends.

People living nearby have complained for more than three years that noise from delivery wagons was waking them up during the night, and that the firm was repeatedly breaching planning laws.

The company wanted to introduce zonal areas around the site, with different hours of work applying to each.

Currently, no activity should take place on Sundays, on Saturdays after 1pm and after 6pm during weekdays. The firm wanted to operate between 6am-10pm, with extra hours for Sundays and bank holidays.

Highgrove said the extra hours were needed to meet its delivery targets to customers all over the UK, and to create up to 30 new jobs.

However the Heavy Woollen planning sub-committee rejected the plan after hearing objections from people living alongside the factory.

Gordon Booth and Steven and Jeanette Brownlee said they could not enjoy their own homes with the noise going on outside.

Mr Brownlee made a video showing alleged breaches of the firm’s hours which he submitted to the council.

He said: “With this application we would only be undisturbed from 10pm until 6am.

“I object to extra hours, access and a second shift, as it would mean twice as many lorries delivering all the extra materials and stock.”

Coun Margaret Bates said: “The permitted hours have never been adhered to. Things have not improved. No-one wants to see a company put out of business, all we ask is that Highgrove act reasonably.”

Coun Lisa Holmes said there had been 67 objectors to the plans: “The zones are not far apart and noise travels. It won’t work. The problem here is the company is in the wrong place.”

Highgrove general manager Bill Parkinson said: “We always provide customers with value for money and many of our suppliers come from the local area, so we provide jobs for people and sustain the local economy.”

But Coun Andrew Pinnock said: “The trust between the company and the neighbours has completely broken down.”

After the meeting, Mr Parkinson told the Spenborough Guardian that the company would appeal.

He added: “In the current climate we are not able to move and find a larger industrial site and still be able to sell our building in such a short space of time.”