'Hell' for neighbours as noisy scrap yard makes houses shake

A scrap metal yard in Willenhall made so much noise it caused nearby houses to shake, suffering residents have revealed.

Collier Metals' operation in Rose Hill, Willenhall. Photo: D2 Planning Limited.
Collier Metals' operation in Rose Hill, Willenhall. Photo: D2 Planning Limited.

A retrospective application by Collier Metals Ltd to continue its operation at the former Magnet trade centre on Rose Hill was thrown out by Walsall Council’s planning committee – despite officers recommending approval.

A resident told members the sound of metal on metal was so loud at times it made nearby houses shake, while huge trucks were causing traffic issues in the area.

Ward councillor Sean Coughlan also said the firm was not a good neighbour and only went through the formal planning process once people in the area raised concerns.

In its application, the company said it employs two people and would be open from 8am to 4pm Monday to Friday and until 1pm on Saturdays.

It also said there would be six deliveries per day in 3.5-ton vans and pick-ups.

Pollution control officers confirmed there had been two formal complaints about noise prior to the application being submitted and were recommending conditions to only allow the company to work indoors with shutters closed.

But a resident said: “The application on paper doesn’t sound too bad but that’s not the experience we’re having.

“There are 44-ton HGVs backing up off Rose Hill and traffic has to stop to let them back up.

“In terms of the timings. Since this application has gone in, I can probably count on one hand how many times they’ve worked outside those times – it has been less.

“But the only reason is we complained about it. Otherwise they would have cracked on.

“When they say they are only sorting metal behind closed doors, that is nonsense. They empty big metal containers into other bigger containers.

“So you have metal on metal which shakes the house once or twice a day. These are older houses which are not well soundproofed.”

Councillor Coughlan added: “I get peeved with retrospective applications. The reason we are here is because their behaviour from day one when they were on that site was not what you’d expect from a good neighbour.

“The people in that area have suffered tremendously from the behaviour of this company that has been on site doing the job for which they say ‘everything will be fine’.

“We were contacted by residents and asked to put a petition together which we did and that is the only reason these people have come forward with a retrospective planning application.

“They totally ignored planning laws, making life hell for people until they were reported and officers went out.”

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