RESIDENTS of Shebbear will be relieved that a concrete production plant which has caused problems in the village is relocating to Chilsworthy — but Chilsworthy residents are not so happy about the move.

Torridge District Council has permitted a part retrospective application by West Country Concrete Products for the construction of a concrete product production facility on a field adjacent to Holsworthy Biogas Plant, Chilsworthy.

The business manufactures and supplies precast concrete products throughout the UK and has been operating from Endford Works in Shebbear.

But it needs to relocate as the business has grown substantially and the Endford site is no longer fit for purpose and is having an adverse impact on Shebbear’s residents as it is located in the centre of the village adjacent to people’s homes. Once the site has been vacated there are plans for it to be redeveloped as a housing estate.

The new facility at Chilsworthy includes two production buildings, a batching plant, three silos and a water tower, storage bays, a vehicle workshop and store, a carpentry workshop, concrete test lab and offices. It will create around 46 jobs.

But some of the local residents have objected to having the plant as a neighbour with concerns about smells and dust levels and an increase in heavy vehicles on local roads. Holsworthy Hamlets Parish Council, although concerned about the upkeep of the road network due to the increased number of lorries, did not however object.

One of the strongest objections came from a neighbouring family farm whose holiday accommodation is just 240 metres from the site. In their objection David and Marlene Heard said: “Site construction work has already been completed without planning…

“We and our guests endured weeks of heavy machinery moving earth around the field from 7am to 7pm six days a week making our holiday accommodation not a pleasant place to be.”

They added: “We understand the company making this application has had many complaints about noise, dust and long working hours in Shebbear. As farmers we are, and have been doing for some years now, looking after and protecting the countryside, a concrete product producing plant will do the opposite.”