Express & Star

Permission granted for storage containers on Penkridge land

More storage containers are set to be sited on land in Penkridge despite residents’ concerns about noise and a narrow road.


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The yard at Goods Station Lane, next to the railway line, has been used to store caravans for many years after approval was granted in the 1990s.

There are already storage containers on the site, members of South Staffordshire Council’s planning committee heard at their latest meeting.

They approved plans for the siting of around 58 containers on the land for storage purposes, subject to a number of conditions including limiting visitor access to between 8am and 6pm on Mondays and 8am to 2pm on Saturdays, with no access on Sundays.

The containers will be rented out for the purpose of domestic and household storage. as well as business items such as tools or furniture. But the proposed use of the site sparked several objections.

Jane Johnstone, who spoke against the application on behalf of residents of Nursery Drive and Goods Station Lane, told the committee they had very strong concerns about noise levels.

She said: “We’ve been woken on Nursery Drive quite a few mornings at 7am or 8am by dragging, banging and shouting.

“Residents have strong concerns about the HGVs delivering these containers and are questioning whether there is going to be a marshal present when the rest are delivered.

"The top of the road is quite narrow and they’re saying they are going to have to reverse all the way up the road because there is no turning space so they can drive back out again.

“The residents would like to know how the restrictions on opening and closing times are going to be enforced.”

Kamile Gudleike, who spoke in support of the application, said: “Your comments have been heard loud and clear. Installation of containers without planning permission was my mistake.

“We bought the site already with containers and caravans – the site already being storage land I thought this was within the law and the site was allowed to have multiple storage units.

"However, after receiving a letter from the council, we started a planning application right away.

“Containers do not have electricity so no machinery can be running on site. We will ask our clients to keep loading and unloading noise to a minimum.

“Usually people visit the site between 9am and 6pm, but certain tradesmen might need to come in and pick up their tools earlier.

"Vintage furniture traders and household item holders usually visit the site during the day or weekend hours.

“We are monitoring the site night and day and last week we had 17 customers visiting the site, which include eight container visits and nine caravan visits.

"Currently we have 14 caravans and 18 containers on site and all containers are let.

“Containers are smaller than caravans, therefore there is enough space for two vehicles to pass one another on site.”

Ward councillor Sam Harper-Wallis said that taking into consideration the site visit numbers given, there could be around 130 visits a week once 58 containers were on the site.

He said: “With metal doors opening and closing, I think that this would be quite a lot of noise.

“The argument to approve is that there are train noises, but those train noises are only 5-10 seconds coming past.

"I think there is a real impact to the residents’ right to peace and quiet to be honest.”

Councillor Victor Kelly said that when evenings were darker earlier tradespeople would use their vehicle lights, affecting residents. He added: “As an ex-HGV driver, trying to turn a vehicle of size up that sort of alleyway will be immense.

“These will be for businesses, not for somebody storing stuff there as a member of the public.

"Those sort of businesses will have transit vehicles and low back vehicles so they can take materials and tools.

“Those vehicles are pretty big. To say two vehicles of that size could pass on that road is very hard to determine.”

The meeting was told that the council’s environmental health department had no concerns about noise in relation to the application, given the established use of the site and its location next to the railway.

But conditions had been proposed to restrict opening hours- and if there was a breach of the conditions reported the situation could be monitored by the planning enforcement team.

The permission would not include consent for installation of external lighting, the meeting also heard, and no hazardous substances would be allowed to be stored on the site at any time.

The county highways authority had raised no objections to the application.

Councillor Christopher Steel said: “There is such a fundamental difference between the storage of caravans and everyday stock – I think there is going to be so much in and out it’s going to be unbearable.

"I have worked on sites where storage containers are used and you can’t shut those doors quietly, you have to slam them.

“I wouldn’t want them behind me. And as for no hazardous stock, who is going to check that?”

Councillor Harper-Wallis initially called for the application to be refused permission because of adverse impact on residents.

But he later withdrew his proposal after being advised on of the environmental health department’s view on the application and the challenge the authority may face defending the reason for objection if the case went to appeal.