Local residents have established a steering group to fight the frozen food group’s plans to extend an existing site at Hareshill Business Park – currently under consideration by Rochdale Borough Council’s planning department – and argue that the structure will be too high at 16.5m.
Trouble sleeping already…
Other concerns centre around the belief that the proposed 160,000 sq ft structure (a cold store and distribution unit) will be too close to their homes, cause noise pollution, block light and hit property prices.
Formally objecting to the planning application, local resident Nick Derbyshire wrote on February 22: “Tucked away in the noise assessment it is detailed that the building is 21m high to the roof…The building is going be a gigantic monstrosity, it will make a mockery of the bund [a planned embankment designed to shield the site] by towering above it.
“The noise assessment…confesses that noise levels are predicted to be right at the maximum permissible decibels during nighttime. It states that five HGVs will come to and from the site every hour during the night and this rises during the daytime. We have problems sleeping already,” said Derbyshire.
Heywood MP Dobbin told FoodManufacture.co.uk that he was due to meet Yearsley bosses as soon as possible to discuss the application: “Of course I understand the residents’ concerns, but the employment issue (with potentially 150 jobs created as a result) cannot be forgotten.”
Dobbin stressed that the planning committee would decide whether to accept the building, but added that he was still “taking soundings” on the issue ahead of a meeting requested by Yearsley, and that one solution could involve the committee imposing conditions on how the site functioned.
Bluff will block noise
Yearsley Group insists that the new development complies with planning regulations and md Harry Yearsley said:
“The proposed cold store will be over 50m from the nearest residential properties on Gloucester Avenue, separated from the distribution park by an existing seven-metre high landscaped bund.”
Yearsley said the bluff would serve as a noise buffer, and has been planted with more than 2,000 trees and shrubs to act as a further visual screen.
“The position of the proposed building has been designed so that loading bays and daily activity are on the far side of the site and furthest from neighbouring dwellings, enabling the building itself to act as an additional barrier,” he said.
The Yearsley Group sells branded and own-label frozen foods to wholesalers, retailers and caterers, and also has a cold storage and distribution division. It has 13 sites nationally and employs 1,200 people across the UK.