Council echoes residents’ move call for business

Bedmax, at Detchant near Belford.
Bedmax, at Detchant near Belford.

A call by residents for a successful company to move because of its impact on their lives is now being echoed by some parish councillors.

People living in Detchant have been complaining about lorries from Bedmax shaking their cottages, churning verges and causing problems for other users of the narrow hamlet road.

The company, a producer of wood shavings for horse bedding, employs 16 people locally and has bases in the Midlands and South. Directors have said they want to reduce their effect on the community.

After hearing the latest complaints from residents, reported by Brenda Jackson, parish councillors decided to ask for a site meeting with senior county council officers.

The meeting heard a reply to their concerns from county planners, which repeatedly deferred to colleagues in highways. One villager had received no reply to a February letter.

Acting chairwoman Coun Brenda Stanton said: “The responses from the county council are woefully inadequate and that’s a personal opinion.”

Coun Stanton declared an interest and left the meeting while the subject was debated.

Coun Geoff O’Connell, in the chair, urged residents to demand a council tax rebate. He also wanted to know how many local people were employed.

Coun Robbie Redpath said he was a businessman, but did not think anyone should have to suffer such disruption to their lives.

Improving the road would not solve the issue. “In practical terms they need to find a new venue for the plant,” he said. “Because of their rural location they have been allowed to grow exponentially, unchecked.” It was said Bedmax estimated the cost of a move at £3million.

Coun O’Connell said: “We welcome the employment opportunities, we welcome the development that’s been made, but it’s overgrown its site and it’s grossly unfair on the community on which it’s been imposed.

“We’ve had this matter raised six months and we are still no closer to resolution, and that’s why this meeting must be called.”