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King’s Lynn food firm ‘should have acted earlier’ on bank problem, meeting told

todayNovember 2, 2020 9

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The owners of a Lynn food factory should have done more earlier to prevent subsidence problems affecting a neighbouring property, councillors have heard.

Proposals by Mars Foods Ltd to culvert a 34 metre section of drainage ditch which runs along part of the boundary of its site were unanimously approved by West Norfolk councillors today.

But the company was criticised during the borough council planning committee session for a perceived lack of prompt action to tackle the problem.

The Mars factory in King's Lynn.. (42950296)
The Mars factory in King’s Lynn.. (42950296)

Ahead of the meeting , planning officials reported that the work was necessary to prevent further subsidence affecting a property to the north of the site, in Kings Avenue.

Meanwhile, in its supporting case for the work, the company said: “Mars consulted with the Kings Lynn Drainage Board to determine a suitable method for stabilizing the bank.

“It was concluded that the most suitable method would be to culvert the stretch of ditch adjacent to the property.

But ward councillor Christine Hudson said the company, or its contractors, should have been aware of the damage that was being caused and should have done something about it earlier.

She said: “Mars should have been more diligent and not allowed the bank to get to this point.”

She also raised concerns about the potential impact on wildlife, adding: “It’s not really what we need in an age of environmental protection.”

Committee member Lesley Bambridge said she was “not surprised” that the work was needed.

And Francis Bone said it was “commendable” that the company was resolving the issue, but added: “Perhaps more could have been done sooner.”

Meanwhile, Terry Parish questioned whether culverting was the most appropriate approach to the problem or whether it was being pursued on cost grounds.

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