THE owners of a concrete batching company moving into Pannal have moved to reassure worried residents about the impact of the scheme.
Hanson Aggregates began work this week on the former Dunlopillo site and expects to have the plant operational by September.
But the company has denied accusations about the pollution, dust and transport problems the site will bring, which residents of the village had complained about.
A spokesman for Hanson said: “This is not a cement works as described by some residents, it’s a wet batch ready-mixed concrete plant.
“Cement is one of the constituents of concrete along with sand, gravel and water. The cement will be delivered in tankers and kept in a sealed silo which will discharge direct into the batch plant.
“The sand and gravel will be delivered from our quarry at Allerton Park near Knaresborough and will be fed into the plant via an enclosed conveyor. As it is a wet batch process, there will be little or no dust produced.”
The spokesman said customers ranged from DIY enthusiasts working at home to house builders and civil engineering contractors.
Residents have protested after the company withdrew a previous planning application for the site, opting instead to establish the business within an existing building which did not require planning permission. But the company said that decision also meant the environmental impact would be reduced.
Responding to rumours in the village, the spokesman said: “Lorry movements will fluctuate depending on our workload but will average between 12 and 15 per working day – not 10 or 12 an hour as has been suggested.
“Concrete has a relatively short ‘shelf-life’ and does not travel very far. The plant will serve a local market within a 10-15 mile radius.
“Our target market is not Leeds; we already have two plants in Leeds to cover that area.”
He added that the company already has more than 200 ready-mixed concrete plants in the UK, all conforming to environmental standards.
Aiming to reassure residents, Hanson has invited members of Pannal Village Association to visit the plant once it is up and running.
Six employees are set to transfer to Pannal from the existing Killinghall site.