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Hazardous waste business facing £2m costs to move over homes row

By Jordan Reynolds | Cannock | Property | Published:

A hazardous waste business may be forced to move premises at a cost of £2 million after homes were built too close to the site.

Axil on the left with some of the new homes

But Axil Integrates Services, the waste company, has said it will not foot the bill for the mistake - which has left almost 50 affordable homes unoccupied.

The news comes after it was revealed by the Express & Star that almost half of the 111 homes built by construction giant Galliford Try on land in Walkmill Lane, Cannock, remain unoccupied after concerns over their close proximity to the site of waste management firm.

The 48 homes are among 55 owned by housing association whg, with the remainder, which are not affordable housing, bought and occupied.

Homes England gave whg £1.3 million to provide the 55 affordable homes.

The unoccupied new homes in Cannock

A spokeswoman for Axil said: "We're still battling away and we're no further to reaching a solution.

"There is a big difference between a waste site that is sorting plastic and cardboard and somewhere that is permitted to treat and store hazardous wastes.

"Axil is very open to finding a solution, but there has to be a solution that works from a commercial point of view.

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"The safest solution for everybody is to remove Axil from that location and enable them to locate elsewhere.

"It's not a situation that's without some significant difficulty, it would be quite a long, drawn-out process.

"We are concerned that whg will be putting pressure on Axil for short-term mitigation measures.

The unoccupied new homes

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"The only way that it could happen is if the other parties including the council banded together and enabled that, Axil doesn't want it to be at their cost, it's not a situation of their making.

"It would cost £2m and would take two years assuming finding a site was a smooth process."

The mistake came about because of an 'inadequate consultation', Axil said, and a reserved matters application changing the details after councillors passed the outline plans with a condition that space or a physical barrier be put in place between the homes and the site.

Rebecca Bennett Casserly, interim corporate director of development at whg, said: “Talks are ongoing with all relevant stakeholders.”

Bob Kean, deputy managing director of Cannock Chase Council said: “We can confirm that ongoing discussions are currently taking place between the council, Walsall Housing Group, Axil Integrated Services and other organisations in relation to the issue at Chenet Chase. The council is committed to working with all of the relevant organisations to determine an appropriate resolution.”

A spokeswoman for Galliford Try said: "We remain in discussion with Cannock Chase Council, Walsall Housing Group and other stakeholders to achieve a resolution to this matter."

Jordan Reynolds

By Jordan Reynolds
Reporter - @jreynolds_star

Senior reporter at the Express & Star.

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