Jobs fears for firms ordered off North Walsham site

A question mark hangs over the future of about 19 jobs as two North Walsham firms facing eviction race to find new homes.

Envirocohfs and Broadland Toilet Hire have lost an appeal against enforcement action and have until January 28 next year to leave their base on Marshgate.

But Envirocohfs chiefs are worried that delays over a planning application will mean its new site, next to North Walsham industrial estate, is not ready in time for the move.

The enforcement action, by North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) followed complaints by residents living near the site about the danger of heavy vehicles using the narrow rural road network in the surrounding Spa Common area.

The specialist liquid waste firm, which employs 15 people, hopes to transfer to land off Cornish Way, which adjoins the Lyngate industrial estate.

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Its application to NNDC for full planning permission includes a purpose-built office building, a weigh bridge, wash pad and four storage containers for salt water to clean the vehicles.

But the firm is facing delays because the Environment Agency wants an assessment carried out on the pollution risk to nearby rivers, streams and ponds, and has also asked for more details about the vehicle-cleaning process following objections from two Lyngate Road residents.

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A spokesman for Enviroco, parent company of Envirocohfs, said any delays in receiving planning consent were a concern and 'adds to the uncertain future for our business and the local people we employ.

'Even with an accelerated construction phase, the eviction date of January 28 2012 is proving to be unrealistic,' he said.

Broadland Toilet Hire, which employs three full-time and one part-time staff members, is also seeking a new home.

The long-running row at the former Marshgate sewage works dates back to 2008 when Envirocohfs, formerly HFS Liquid Waste, applied to use the site as a non-hazardous liquid transfer station, sparking a barrage of objections from residents.

HFS lost an appeal against planning refusal and was served with an enforcement notice ordering it to quit the site, along with Broadland Toilet Hire. The firms have now lost an appeal against that order.

Peter Bowles, who with his wife Polly was among the group of objecting Spa Common residents, said it was a victory for common sense and his overwhelming feeling was of relief.

'We are enormously grateful that it's all over and there is an end in sight to HGV traffic down our little roads,' said Mr Bowles.

'They need to be on a more modern, acceptable, site and we wish them well.'

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