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Recycling firm told to demolish offices

A recycling business has been told to demolish its offices because of their impact on a nearby listed building.

Planning inspector JP Sargent said Heard Environmental had a year to remove the structure at Pitsea, Essex, which he concluded would harm Cromwell Manor, a historic building used for functions.

The offending building stands on a site used for the storage and distribution of soils, hard core, timber and concrete pending recycling or reuse.

Some 13,500 tonnes of material was present when the inspector visited, although the site could take up to 49,000 tonnes, he noted.

The structure was also contrary to the local plan because it fell in neither permitted use class for the site.

In his decision notice, Sargent said the National Planning Policy Framework placed weight on both the conservation of heritage assets and on economic development, but that recycling storage could continue without the office building or be relocated.

“I consider the weight in favour of economic development, employment and the provision of these facilities is not sufficient to outweigh the harm to the setting of the listed building, or justify a decision contrary to the development plan,” he said.

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