I went along with residents from Rockwell Pastures to the Council's Planning Committee this afternoon to object to the application by Albert Hill Skip Hire to extend the hours of their operation.
As I blogged on Sunday, this factory has been the source of local complaints for years - about the level of noise, the chunks of wood that flew into public areas, the dust, and most of all the unsocial hours the plant works.
At the Committee meeting, two residents spoke powerfully against approval. A representative of the company attempted to blur the issue by suggesting that perhaps another factory on Albert Hill was responsible for all the problems - he also seemed to be stating that residents were delusional about the scale of the problem(!).
I spoke at the Committee too, and tried to rebut the (frankly specious) arguments being deployed by the site operator.
I'm delighted to say that the Committee unanimously rejected the application - the hours of operation will remain as they are. As ward councillors, we will be looking now to the Council's Planning Enforcement team to prosecute the company for breaches of the existing site operation hours, and Albert Hill Skip Hire can be sure that together with residents we will be pressing the Council on the level of noise and dust problems too.
David, Andy and myself have just got a letter round the estate explaining the outcome of today's meeting. As I understand that this company is linked to the "outfit" who operate the private tip on Whessoe Road, I have little doubt that enforcement will be beset with problems - at least after today, there is a little light at the end of the tunnel.