Blackpool haulage firm to challenge planning refusal amid jobs fears

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A Blackpool haulage firm is continuing its battle to remain operating from a site off Squires Gate Lane.


Fox Brothers has lodged an appeal after the council rejected its retrospective planning application to use land at Squires Gate Industrial Estate for the storage of up to 67 wagons, a workshop and a concrete mixing plant.

The application was thrown out by the planning committee in June after more than 40 objections were received mainly from residents of nearby Oakwood Close, but also from Common Edge Road and businesses on Amy Johnson Way.

They complained of air pollution, environmental contamination and the “horrendous noise” of a concrete crusher and other heavy machinery at the site which the contractor moved to in 2019.

Drivers Jordan Dempsey and Keith Thirsk at the Fox Brothers' site.Drivers Jordan Dempsey and Keith Thirsk at the Fox Brothers’ site.

Now an independent planning inspector will re-examine the council’s decision and could either rule in favour of Fox Brothers or uphold the original outcome.

In July drivers working for Fox Brothers, which employs around 100 people at its Squires Gate site, spoke out about their fears the company may have to relocate outside the resort with jobs potentially moving to Leyland.

Spokesman Keith Thirsk said many drivers would not be able to travel to Leyland for work.

He said the company had “made great efforts to reduce noise”, and the concrete crusher had been removed from the site.

But a report by town hall planners said the council and the Environment Agency had “received a significant number of complaints about noise and dust from local residents”.

It was also feared the closeness of the depot to the Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone would jeopardise its ability to attract “new, modern, hi-tech companies and their staff into the area.”