WARRINGTON Borough Council has strengthened an enforcement notice served on the owner of a concrete mixing plant built in Woolston without permission.

Mincrete Ltd, based at the Forward Works site, on Bridge Lane, was refused retrospective planning permission last month.

It has been operating on the site since September 2017.

But a public inquiry is set to take place to decide what happens next.

After the latest decision to turn down the application, Labour’s Rixton and Woolston borough council candidates Chris Vobe, Cllr Andrew Hill and Cllr Pat Wright were in touch with council chief executive Steven Broomhead to demand ‘rigorous and robust’ enforcement action.

In a letter to the three candidates, the council’s environmental enforcement team confirmed the original enforcement notice served following the refusal of plans earlier in 2019 had a single ground for refusal.

However, the decision to refuse the plans last month was made on five grounds – inadequate vehicular access, noise and disturbance, dust, harm from use of the access road by HGVs and impact upon River Mersey and Woolston Eyes Site of Special Scientific Interest.

The team added: “If we want the Planning Inspectorate to consider these additional matters it will be necessary to withdraw the current enforcement notice and serve a new notice which includes all these considerations.

“It is therefore the intention within the next few days to notify the Planning Inspectorate of the withdrawal of the current enforcement notice and then serve a new enforcement notice to address the updated situation.

“This, it is considered, puts the council in a much stronger position as it would not restrict an appeal to consideration of a single matter.”

It has been welcomed by Mr Vobe, Cllr Hill and Cllr Pat Wright.

In a joint statement, they said: “Following the welcome decision by the council’s planning committee prior to Christmas, we have been clear in our position and insisted on rigorous and robust enforcement action to put an end to the traffic misery, the noise nuisance, and the excessive dust that residents have had to suffer over the time this site has been in operation.

“As a direct result of our action, the council are following through on their commitments and we now have a much stronger enforcement notice lodged with the Planning Inspectorate.

“If the company decide to appeal, we will be leading the campaign locally to persuade the Inspector to uphold the Council’s position, and we’ll be working closely with local residents to ensure that their comments and objections are taken into account.”