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Villagers say company’s plans for growth in Wickhambrook are ‘unwelcome’

Mark Westley Photography
Wickhambrook residents protest over agricultural business expansion. ANL-140907-173503009

Mark Westley Photography Wickhambrook residents protest over agricultural business expansion. ANL-140907-173503009

 

Villagers in Wickhambrook are battling plans by a local company to expand its operation.

Claydon Yieldometer, which makes agricultural machinery, wants to grow its business creating more jobs and re-organising its site at Gaines Hall.

But that has led to a massive objection by villagers concerned at the environmental impact on the village.

The company, which produces seed drills and straw harrows, has submitted plans to demolish some buildings on the 11.5 acre site and build a new assembly plant of 3,949 sq metres, including two-storey offices. It also wants to build a product showroom and parts centre, a new weld shop of 1,252 sq metres, to extend the existing assembly building to create two -torey production offices, convert the existing weld shop for research and development and create a new hard surface yard and parking.

The expansion is expected to create a further 18 jobs on top of the current 42 full-time staff.

Villagers say it will create flood risks, transport and safety issues on the roads and noise and light pollution.

They argue that while they appreciate the company’s success, it should move to a purpose built industrial site in Bury or Haverhill rather than expand in the heart of the countryside.

Wickhambrook Parish Council has also objected to the plans, citing increased drainage problems for Attleton Green, the visual impact of the buildings and the impact on the character of Wickhambrook.

Due to the number of objections received St Edmundsbury Borough Council has now put back a decision on the plan to early September.

Jane Midwood, spokesperson for the campaign, said there were concerns over flooding.

“The site is totally unsuitable for this sort of operation. You get these lorries with great big machines on the back travelling along the B1063. We have no objection to the company’s success but it is not suitable for such expansion.”

 

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