RESIDENTS close to a factory in Darwen have launched a petition complaining about its operating hours, noise and traffic.

The 31 petitioners have submitted their complaints to Blackburn with Darwen Council about Babywise in Almond Street.

But bosses at the firm, which has been on the site for more than 15 years, with the building itself – Almond Street Works – pre-dating the houses, described the complaints as nonsense.

The petition was revealed to the council during a meeting of the executive board.

Council member for regeneration Maureen Bateson told the meeting: “The 31 petitioners are complaining that the premises are operating 24 hours a day and noise levels have increased at unsociable hours.

“They claim the company has expanded its working area into portable cabins which has reduced on-site parking and caused traffic congestion, and that they have also filled their site with environmental waste. Further contact has recently been made by the lead petitioner about the parking of employees’ cars and the delivery vehicles obstructing the highway.”

Babywise is based in the Almond Street Works and because the premises have been established for many years, there is no restriction on its hours of operation.

The company makes mattresses and changing mats.

Director Kathleen Cunliffe said: “We do not work 24 hours a day, it was just a one-off because there was a big baby event.

“We have extended our car park and have given one lad the job description of ‘traffic violation officer’ who polices the car park for us.

“And rather than getting a skip in every week for our waste, we recycle everything now, but the companies who take the rubbish away don’t come every week, they wait for it to fill up.

“So we pallet all the waste up in the yard ready to be taken away. We are looking after the planet.”