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Fears over Hyndburn animal hides plant plans
PLANS to change a canal-side warehouse into a plant for treating animal hides have been approved despite residents’ concerns.
About 100 residents went to Hyndburn planning committee to oppose the plan for Church Street in Church, but councillors said they had no grounds to refuse.
The scheme for salting hides for export, with 30 jobs, had the prior backing of planning officers, as long as it obeyed strict hygiene conditions.
The Environment Agency had raised concerns about possible damage to the habitat of nearby water voles, but applicants Harwood Hides agreed to submit a water management plan.
Proposals to move the Great Harwood business to Church Works, as part of expansion plans, had already seen 150 people object in petitions and letters.
The building is close to a number of terraced homes, and residents fear pests, like flies and rats, would result.
In a report to councillors, officers said: “Officers can understand why some residents do not necessarily favour the proposed use.
“However, this application has to be determined on land use planning grounds, and not whether the use is liked, or disliked.”
At the meeting yesterday, Coun Colette McCormack said: “We can’t take into account things like house prices, which does upset us.”
Coun Doug Hayes said: “At least this way, we can impose conditions. If we refuse and it’s overturned, there will be no conditions at all.”
The meeting heard the applicants had had no complaints operating in Park Road, Great Harwood, for 13 years.
The application building, currently vacant, would employ 30 people and would be used to treat animal hides with salt before export.
Hides and sheepskins would be delivered from abattoirs. It is proposed that vehicles would reverse into the buildings to ensure that hides are under cover, in accordance with DEFRA legislation. The dry skins would then be stacked on pallets within the building before loading onto vehicles and exported to China.
Councillors voted to approve the application, on condition a meeting was held with residents and local councillors to discuss conditions imposed.
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