‘We’ve won the battle, not the war,’ say campaigners as FP McCann’s application for £2m concrete factory expansion in Littleport goes live again

01st August 2017

Dozens more objections have poured in following news that a planning application to double the size of a concrete factory in Littleport at a cost of £2 million is ‘live’ once again.

People power triumphed in May when concrete specialist FP McCann’s application to expand their site on Wisbech Road was quashed by the High Court after campaign group ‘Save Our Fens’ took legal action against East Cambridgeshire District Council, who originally approved the application in February.

The judge ruled that the council had not properly assessed the potential environmental impact of the expansion and ordered it to pay costs.

But campaigners admitted they had “only won a battle, not the war,” following the High Court’s decision and the application – which includes a 33,000 sqft factory and two 64 foot silos – is now back with the council’s planning committee and could be approved again.

One objection, sent to ECDC’s planning manager, Rebecca Saunt, said: “We are concerned, in addition to noise and lighting, about the pollution risk that the site presents with respect to bulk cement handling and storage.

“We are also concerned that the risk of traffic accidents, as a direct result of the increased HGV and other vehicle movement has not been properly evaluated.”

Another focussed on the impact the new site would have on the WWT Wetland Centre nature reserve, based just five miles away.

It said: “The dust produced at the site may have a wide-ranging affect, both on soil composition and for wildlife for years to come.

“The nature reserve at Welney is nationally recognised as a haven for wetlands birds who often leave the reserve during daylight hours and will therefore come into contact with this pollution.”

FP McCann’s claims that the new site would bring 90 jobs to the local economy have also been challenged by finance experts at Cambridge University, who say they “just don’t add up”.

A ‘Save the Fens’ spokesman said: “The business experts have reviewed the plans and McCann’s published accounts in detail and have found that they just don’t add up. This expert analysis will be submitted to ECDC planners shortly.

“In addition, local businesses are telling the planners that this will stifle future jobs creation and move jobs away from Littleport.”