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Firm's move backed against advice

PUBLISHED: 10:09 04 April 2008 | UPDATED: 10:27 12 July 2010

A construction company has been given consent to relocate to an agricultural site near Long Stratton against the advice of district planning officers who recommended refusal.

A construction company has been given consent to relocate to an agricultural site near Long Stratton against the advice of district planning officers who recommended refusal.

F T Construction Ltd deals with hiring and maintenance of plant equipment and has been so successful it has outgrown its existing premises next to the A140 at Swainsthorpe.

Its new site at Orchard Villa, Hempnall Road, Morningthorpe, is currently used as a broiler unit, the majority of which will be demolished to make way for a new workshop and office building.

The land is outside any development boundary, and the scheme was opposed by Hempnall Parish Council, county highways and local district councillor Michael Windridge. There were also four letters of objection from residents, who share concerns about impact on the countryside, increased traffic and the “dangerous access” onto the access onto the A140 at Hempnall crossroads, regarded as an accident blackspot.

Members of the area planning committee had voted 4-3 in favour in January, as it was felt the overriding need to retain employment in the locality outweighed other policy, highway and impact issues. But because the proposal is contrary to policy, the application was referred to the main planning committee to be determined on Wednesday.

Only three out of 12 councillors wanted to back the officers' recommendation, and the application was approved.

The company has been given notice to vacate the Swainsthorpe site by December this year, as it is earmarked for housing development.

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