An expansion plan by a Ryedale mill has been deferred for a second time in the hope that issues around noise complaints can be resolved.
Ryedale Council’s planning committee made the decision at its meeting last night when considering an application from BATA in Main Street, Amotherby, a local animal feed compound milling business which also sells fuel and animal welfare products.
BATA wants to install 12 bulk outloading bins for animal feed storage, together with an integral weighbridge.
Each bin could hold 10 tonnes of animal feed.
A number of local residents and the parish council objected to the scheme, saying that the noise from the site, which they say is operating 24 hours a day, was above acceptable levels.
In its submission to the council BATA said that the expansion would help to secure its future.
It said: “The businesses existing mill storage is now old and constraining its continued operation and the proposed development therefore provides much-needed storage to ensure the continued viability and competitiveness of the business is maintained.
“In conclusion BATA needs this extension to be passed to be able to stay competitive in a challenging marketplace.”
The mill site in the village dates back to the 19th Century.
Amotherby Parish Council said that the noise was of great concern to the village.
In its objection it wrote: “Residents’ concerns should be viewed in the context of the intensification of the mill’s operation over the past three months.
“Currently BATA is operating the mill 24/7, stated in the application as permanent, which is resulting in unacceptable disturbance to adjacent neighbours.”
The planning committee heard that there was an ongoing noise nuisance complaint regarding the site currently being investigated by Environmental Health.
Committee member Steven Mason, who represents Amotherby Ward, said the residents did not want the company to stop production.
He said: “From conversations I have had with residents locally they do not want to stop this company from working.
“They want the company to be respectful of their neighbours and operate under recognised parameters to protect the amenity of householders in the local area.
“The impact of the noise on this site, in my view, must be treated in a holistic way. The production is causing unacceptable levels of noise in the night. The bins are there to help production, they must be considered together.”
By five votes to four the planning committee voted to defer a decision on the application for a second time – the first time was so councillors could take a site visit – to see if an agreement could be reached with BATA around the noise levels.
The committee was told that the applicant could now decide to refer the application to the Planning Inspector on the grounds of non-determination by the council.
Cllr Caroline Goodrick said the committee had “strayed into environmental protection work” and moved away from its role which was to decide on planning applications.
She said she was “deeply uncomfortable” with how the committee had conducted itself in reaching its decision.