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Residents close to Princes Ltd in Wisbech plead ‘spare us from more factory misery’ as firm looks to extend

General view of Princes from a home in Oakroyd Crescent
General view of Princes from a home in Oakroyd Crescent

Residents living next door to a food processing factory are pleading with Fenland District Council not to grant permission for an extension, claiming their lives are already made miserable by it.

Princes Ltd describe the plan for their Lynn Road, Wisbech, premises as a “critical” extension.

General view of Princes from Oakroyd Crescent
General view of Princes from Oakroyd Crescent

But opposition to it has come from a group of residents in Oakroyd Crescent and neighbouring roads.

They claim the factory has grown beyond recognition in the past 20 years and is a permanent blight on their lives causing “unbearable smell” and constant noise, day and night.

Jane and Terry Brackenbury, speaking for the group, said: “We accept that we live next to a factory, and we knew that when we bought our homes.

“But the factory has kept on expanding and now we can’t use our gardens because of the noise and the smell. We have to sleep with our windows closed because of all the lorries and forklifts beeping all the time and other noise. It really is terrible.

General view of Princes from Oakroyd Crescent
General view of Princes from Oakroyd Crescent

“When we first moved here there were problems during the pea season, but it was only for three weeks and whilst we moaned and groaned it wasn’t that bad.

“Now they have built a waste disposal which stinks. You can’t hang your washing on the line because it comes in smelling. We used to have barbecues and parties in our garden, now our stone built barbecue is crumbling because we never use it any more.

“The noise in our gardens makes them unpleasant to sit in. We are very much against this extension going up. Even one more lorry or one more forklift is going to be one too many. We have had dozens of meetings with Princes to discuss the issues but they just seem to ignore us.

“This latest planning application doesn’t even show Oakroyd Crescent on the site map.

“We know the factory employs many local people but all the noise and mess we have to put up with seems unnecessary and the extension is bound to make it worse.”

George Hennessy, a resident in Lynn Road, has made a separate ojection, writing: “This historic factory is continually getting bigger all the time on a confined site. I see no reason to encourage its growth by allowing any more planning applications.”

Geoff Clark, of Mount Pleasant Road, added: “The night- time activity makes sleeping almost impossible, with the constant banging and general operating noise, not to mention the constant lorries in and out of the yard all night. I strongly oppose the further development of the site.”

A design and access statement provided in support of the application explains the proposed works will house bag lifter equipment.

It says: “The proposals are critical for Princes Ltd and to allow them to continue to perform their operations as a successful business which is extremely important to the local community.”

Ward councillor Carol Cox has asked for the application to be called in and determined by the planning committee to enable residents to have their say before a decision is made.

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