'Family firm is ruining landscape'

PUBLISHED: 15:50 08 July 2012

Archant

AN AREA of countryside has been turned into an 'eyesore' by a Weston building yard's expansion, according to a councillor.

Dawn Payne, who represents Weston East at North Somerset Council, said Curley Brothers Yard, in Hutton Moor Lane, was ruining the landscape for its neighbours.

She told the Mercury what once was a beautiful area of open land and trees, has been ruined by the business’ use of storage containers, scaffolding poles and vehicles.

She said: “All the local residents want, is to live in peace and quiet.”

A council enforcement notice allows the family firm to keep just three lorries on the site – a decision which it appealed against at a two-day planning inquiry, starting on June 26.

Peter Curley, one of the brothers who is a partner of the business, said the company had been there since the late-1980s and the company would suffer hugely if forced to relocate.

He said: “It is a site we have used for 25 years and to be told we may have to relocate our business in three months is really harsh.

“For us, that would cause major problems. We are a small family firm.”

The inquiry examined hundreds of photos of the site which had been collated since 1999 and showed the extent to which the firm’s storage of equipment had affected the countryside.

Mr Curley said the items were shipped out to building firms when required and were not permanent fixtures on the site, situated near the fishing lake.

Ms Payne, addressing the inquiry said: “When I have visited the site over the last few years the amount of items seems to have increased and some of these containers don’t appear to have moved for three years.”

Several residents also contacted her in advance of the inquiry and site inspection, to tell her items had been moved around the premises.

Keith Turner, chair of the panel, visited the site after the inquiry and is expected to announce his decision in the next six to eight weeks.

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