Bullet factory given the go-ahead

By James MortlockA PLAN for an ammunition plant to produce police and military training bullets has been backed by safety experts.Explosives made at the factory in Mildenhall, close to one of America's largest European air bases, will pose no risk to residents and Suffolk County Council approved the proposal yesterday.

By James Mortlock

A PLAN for an ammunition plant to produce police and military training bullets has been backed by safety experts.

Explosives made at the factory in Mildenhall, close to one of America's largest European air bases, will pose no risk to residents and Suffolk County Council approved the proposal yesterday.

The non-lethal ammunition will be made at the existing premises in Hampstead Avenue owned by JEB Engineering.


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It will be used for training the British military and police firearms units and has been designed to create minimum impact.

The ammunition can even be used for target practice without the need for protective clothing and bulletproof jackets.

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Adrian Winter, principal trading standards officer with the county council, said it was the explosives authority for Suffolk and a licence to make the ammunition would now be issued by the Health and Safety Executive.

He added a meeting in Mildenhall yesterday, which would have heard from any opponents of the plant, had been “something of a formality” as no objections had been received and the plan had been approved.

Mr Winter said Health and Safety Executive experts should issue the licence after a final inspection of the factory next week.

John Brown, managing director of JEB Engineering - which until now has made metal parts for the electro-mechanical industry - said he was pleased with the decision.

He added the ammunition plant at the factory would help secure the future of the business.

“This is very good news - the fact that there were no objections from the parish council or anyone else means people have taken on board what we have said about safety,” said Mr Brown.

“The product is different from what we usually make, but it uses all our engineering skills and it is something which will secure the company because the product is not parts for someone else, it is our own complete product.”

Mr Brown expected production of the ammunition would begin by the end of the month and although no fresh jobs will be created immediately, he hoped the production would lead to expansion in the long-term.

He added the explosives to be stored at the factory would be “much safer” than anything normally stored by people who make fireworks. “There are no concerns from that point of view. It is not a risk,” he said.

Residents and organisations were given a month to comment on the plan, which was put on display in the county council's trading standards department, and no objections were made.

james.mortlock@eadt.co.uk

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