Concrete plant set to open at Pannal site

tis. The Pannal area of Harrogate. 091029GS5h.
tis. The Pannal area of Harrogate. 091029GS5h.

A CONSTRUCTION industry giant is set to move its wet concrete batching plant across Harrogate to Pannal Business Park.

Hanson Quarry Products is relocating from its existing base at Killinghall, where its landlord served notice, to a 25,000 sq ft warehouse at the former Dunlop Latex site.

The firm will make 20,000 cubic metres of concrete each year inside the building for use on construction sites.

Hanson was refused planning permission for an open air concrete batching plant in August last year on the grounds it would affect the future development of the site and impact negatively on the landscape and nearby residents.

At the time, the council received more than 100 letters of objection against the plant from villagers citing traffic problems, issues with an access road crossing green belt land, dust, noise, appearance and light pollution.

But because the new scheme will be indoors the company says it no longer requires planning consent.

A Hanson spokesman said: “We have had written consent from Harrogate Borough Council that it doesn’t require planning permission because it conforms to B2-industrial use.

“It’s really a terrific result because we can continue our business in the town and the fact we are still local keeps our costs and those of our customers down.”

Last year’s planning application sought a new access road built across green belt land but the firm will now use an existing access.

The spokesman said the move represented an investment of more than £1m and would safeguard six jobs.

The company hopes to begin developing the warehouse from mid-July and transfer operations six to eight weeks later.

One group which raised objections to last year’s application was Pannal Village Society.

Reacting to the new scheme, its chairman Peter Stretton said: “I don’t welcome it but if they are not constrained by planning there is not a lot we can do about it.

“As it is indoors, I guess there will be less noise and dust so it’s better than having an outside plant but what bothers us is the increase of traffic on Pannal Bank.”