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16th May, 2022

Rubery residents claim food firm is 'making their lives a misery'

PEOPLE living in Rubery say their lives are being made a misery on a daily basis by a food production plant but the owner says neither he nor the company is doing anything wrong.

Complaints have been lodged by residents and Coun Peter McDonald about Adams Food Services (AFS) Ltd in The Avenue.

The business originally only had permission for ‘light industry’ but was deemed to be more productive than that meaning it breached planning guidelines.

The company submitted applications to retrospectively enable them to continue its operations but they were twice thrown out by Bromsgrove District Council.

AFS lodged an appeal and was granted the permission it needed but with certain restrictions in place.

Residents and Coun McDonald claim the firm is riding roughshod over the rules which is negatively impacting on those living in the area.

Kim Knight, whose home backs onto The Avenue, said: “The noise is horrendous – sometimes it feels like we are under siege.

“Metal trolleys are being dragged over gravel and work which is supposed to only start at 8am is beginning at 6am and continuing past 10pm when it is supposed to be finished earlier.”

She added one of the conditions was that an acoustic fence be put up to screen some of the noise but claimed the owner had put up ‘just a garden type fence that did nothing to make it quieter’.

She said lorries were supposed to be limited to 5tonne but the firm was using 7.5tonne vehicles and Adams was prevented to work on bank holidays but it operated on Christmas Day.

Lorry drivers, she said, also sat there with their engines running adding noise and pollution.

She added they had complained numerous times to the council but nothing had been done.

Coun McDonald said: “Lives of those living in the area are becoming a misery with the district council refusing point blankly to any action that would give some respite for local residents.

“The council states its priority is to police the town centre not Rubery which is a clear dereliction of their duty to serve all residents throughout the district equally.”

A Bromsgrove District Council spokesperson said it was fully aware of local residents’ concerns.

“An investigation into the alleged breaches of planning control is continuing.

“The enforcement of traffic regulations is the remit of the police.”

AFS manager Syed Ahmad told the Standard the firm had done everything it had been asked to do and was confident any inspections by the council would find nothing wrong.

“We did not operate on Christmas Day and on bank holidays we are able to take deliveries until 1pm which we do but not after that.

“We gave the paper from the inspector to the fencing company and it put up the correct fence which cost us £20,000.

“Some of the residents came to our offices after that and gave us chocolates to thank us for putting up the fence.

“Most of the people living around here are happy and the complaints are from one or two who do not like us – they have even told us that to our faces.”

He added the planning inspector visited the business and stayed for a number of hours, after which he was happy and granted the permission.

And he said the lorries the company used all complied with the restrictions.

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