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Council to get tough over concrete mixing plant

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WARRINGTON Borough Council is to toughen up enforcement action against a firm which set up a controversial concrete mixing plant without planning permission.
Town Hall chiefs have decided to withdraw an existing enforcement notice served on the company, Mincrete Ltd on Bridge Lane, Woolston and replace it with a new, stronger notice
The news has been welcomed by three Labour candidates standing in the Rixton and Woolston ward in the borough council elections in May.
Chris Vobe, Andrew Hill and Pat Wright said in a joint statement: “We welcome the news that the council has carefully considered all the issues pertaining to this site, and have looked closely at ways that they can place us in the strongest possible position to defend ourselves against any appeal submitted by the site owners.
“Following the welcome decision by the council’s planning committee prior to Christmas, we have been clear in our position and insisted on rigorous and robust enforcement action to put an end to the traffic misery, the noise nuisance, and the excessive dust that residents have had to suffer over the time this site has been in operation.”
Originally, the council refused a retrospective planning application for the plant for a single reason – that the application earlier last year lacked sufficient information to allow an assessment of the impact of the plant on the River Mersey and the Woolston Eyes Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).
But a second retrospective application from the company was refused on five grounds – inadequate vehicle access, noise and disturbance, dust, harm from the use of an access road by heavy goods vehicles and impact on the Mersey and the Woolston Eyes SSSI.
A council spokesman said: “If we want the Planning Inspectorate to consider these additional matters it will be necessary to withdraw the current enforcement notice and serve a new notice which includes all these considerations
“It is therefore the intention within the next few days to notify the Planning Inspectorate of the withdrawal of the current enforcement notice, and then serve a new enforcement notice to address the updated situation. This it is considered puts the council in a much stronger position as it would not restrict an appeal to consideration of a single matter.”
The three Labour candidates said: “We now have a much stronger enforcement notice lodged with the Planning Inspectorate. If the company decides to appeal, we will be leading the campaign locally to persuade the inspector to uphold the council’s position, and we’ll be working closely with local residents to ensure that their comments and objections are taken into account.”

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