Barrel business feud rumbles on

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A dispute between neighbours over a barrel cutting business has spilled over into threats of legal action.

In October, members of Babergh District Council decided to approve an application by John Simmons to turn a barn in Ipswich Road, Elmsett, into two holiday lets next to his barrel cutting business.

The decision has been challenged by Mr Simmons’ neighbour, Pauline House, who has threatened to seek a judicial review if planning permission is not withdrawn.

The challenge centres on the council’s decision that the barrel cutting business was lawful, as it had taken place on the Paigle Old Barn site for more than 10 years.

Mrs House questioned this, stating that it started on the site in 2007 and was previously undertaken on the property she now owns.

With both parties offering evidence for and against the site’s prolonged use, officers have told members they will not be advising whether the use of the barn plot is lawful or not.

Instead, they have asked for a decision to be made on the other issues raised.

Officers have asked members to consider that cutting has taken place on the site since 2007.

Mrs House originally queried the level of “amenity” to be enjoyed by holidaymakers at the site, given noise associated with the business and vehicle movements.

She also claimed access was hazardous, a pond on the site was polluted from barrel residue and said holiday lets were not needed in the area.

Despite this, officers have again recommended approval with a series of conditions, including:

l A limit on when the drilling, washing and cutting of barrels can take place

l A limit on the hours for deliveries and collections

l A maximum of 10 barrels to be cut each day

l Industrial processes to be undertaken behind a screen.

Other conditions include landscaping the area, improved highways access and better parking provision.

The application will be heard by members on Wednesday.