Joy as scrap metal firm loses appeal

A SCRAP metal company based in a coastal Essex town has lost its appeal against license restrictions that prevent it from operating late into the night.

A SCRAP metal company based in a coastal Essex town has lost its appeal against license restrictions that prevent it from operating late into the night.

Following representations from environmental groups and residents, the appeal by S B Wheelers and Sons of Brightlingsea - recently purchased by Easco - was turned down by the Planning Inspectorate.

Although the company has been granted a small increase in the tonnage of material it can store - from 10,000 to 12,500 tonnes, rather than the desired 25,000 - the company's request for longer operating hours was dismissed.

In its ruling the Planning Inspectorate said the conditions of the license, issued to the company by the Environment Agency in 2006, were aimed at “preventing nuisance in the evenings and at night and at the weekends and bank holidays”.


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Nobody from the company was available to speak to the EADT during the weekend, but the decision has been welcomed by the agency and by locals, who claim it is a victory for the environment and for the town.

Chris Hazelton, from the Environment Agency, said: “We believe this is a good outcome for the environment and residents of Brightlingsea and we look forward to working with the operator to achieve full compliance with the license over the coming months.”

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The company had argued that as a tidal port, such restrictions would affect the profitability of its business and requested a maximum storage tonnage of 25,000 and permission to extend working hours to 11pm, Monday to Friday.

Former town Mayor Peter Patrick, whose term ended earlier this month, said it was the right decision and would have a positive effect on the area.

Mr Patrick, who was a councillor for 40 years, said a successful appeal by the company would have had a serious impact on the community.

He said: “I'm very pleased. If you live in Brightlingsea you would hear the noise of the work. You can hear them lift up and grab for the metal and drop it - it's a horrible noise.”

He said people were “entitled” to a quiet life and the town, which he claims relies heavily on tourism, could have lost visitors due to the intrusive noise and excessive dust created by the work.

He added: “It would have been a terrible intrusion.”

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