Businesses given six months to leave after planning consent

Businesses in Morland Industrial Park have been handed a six-month notice before the site is knocked

Businesses in Morland Industrial Park have been handed a six-month notice before the site is knocked down for housing. - Credit: Archant

BUSINESSES at Highbridge’s Morland Industrial Park say they have nowhere to go after being given six months to leave the site.

The park is scheduled for demolition and will be replaced by 62 affordable homes, after final planning permission was granted at a meeting of Sedgemoor District Council’s development committee last month.

The 12 occupied units have now been served notice to vacate the properties by September 28, with some complaining of a lack of alternative premises available.

But Toni Himmick, managing director of development agents Property Link, said that the site would have been closed regardless of the proposals.

Neil Close, owner of C&H Carpets, which has traded on the park since 1994, said: “I am looking to find another suitable premises for a number of years, and there is nothing in the area that I can afford.

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“I assume something will turn up because I am not wealthy enough to retire, and I employ around 20 staff who I wouldn’t like to leave in the lurch.

“It is an ideal building, perhaps it’s a bit untidy but it has been fine for me for the last two decades, and I know there are others who feel the same.

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“I don’t really want to have to find a new area. Most of my staff can walk to work, so if I move to Weston they would have extra costs or have to join the job queue.”

John Yard, owner of JY Autos, another to have called Morland Industrial Park home for 15 years, said he too was struggling to find a new base for his business.

He said: “It has been a nightmare. We are very short on industrial premises in this area. If you go to the Isleport or Walrow estates, everything is too big.

“I haven’t got a clue where we are going to end up and no one else seems to either, I have built 15 years of custom which I don’t want to lose.”

Ms Himmick defended the plans and said that the development had extended the life span of the business park.

She said: “Nobody really ever wants change but they are being helped to find properties. The site would have been closed in any case by the bank, and they would have had to leave then.

“The park would have been closed last December and is now open until September, and five of the businesses have already found new sites.

“It is unfortunate, but it is only a small number of businesses and a large number of homes will be coming in.”

The new homes will consist of two four-bedroom, 27 three-bedroom, 27 two-bedroom and six one-bedroom properties, in the form of 51 houses and 11 flats.

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