Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting CHNEWS to 80360, or email
Factory plan in Earby ‘will protect 250 jobs’
Plans for a new warehouse and offices at an Earby factory have been given the go- ahead.
Bosses at Wardle Storeys insist that the replacement of the Grove Mill plant would provide a better outlook for neighbours and secure the future of one of West Craven’s leading employers.
They also said it would safeguard 250 jobs at the site, where polymer films and coated fabrics are made for a variety of industries, with new production facilities being introduced.
Coun David Whipp, chairman of the West Craven Area Committee, welcomed the investment but also spoke about concerns about access to the site.
“We should welcome investment in a new factory, which would protect jobs,” said Coun Whipp. “But there are persistent problems with heavy goods vehicles using Old Lane to access the factory.
“Since the spring of this year there have been problems with vandalism to signs in the area, and as a result Wardle Storeys took down their sign on Old Lane. And articulated lorries from the continent have been causing problems on this very narrow lane into the factory.”
The area committee voted to approve the plans on condition Wardle Storeys negotiated the use of an alternative access for HGVs.
“With the development of West Craven Business Park, the new offices will be able to be accessed from that road,” added Coun Whipp. “That should keep traffic out of the centre of Earby and reduce or eliminate the use of Old Lane by HGVs.”
Nelson-based Barnfield Construction drew up proposals for the warehouse and offices scheme, which was approved along with linked plans to demolish much of the Grove Mill factory.
Planning agent Daniel Jackson said the existing accommodation at Wardle Storeys was not suitable for a 21st century operation.
He added: “The proposed works will enable Wardle Storeys to remain competitive and secure important local jobs.
“In order to undertake this investment, an area to the south of the site will be released for residential development. This will be a more appropriate use of the land than the current factory and will link well with the existing residential area of Earby.”
The warehouse would be situated to the east of the present accommodation and the offices at the western end. An extra 40 car parking spaces would be provided.
Recommending approval, planning officer Helen Garnett said: “The warehouse area would be no greater in height than the surrounding buildings and would mirror the length and width of adjoining structures.”
Land to the south of the site will also be released for housing. Previously developers have talked about 74 homes for the area but no new firm figure has been announced.