Residents’ anger at 18’ metal structure

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A Bexhill building supplies company may have to remove an 18-foot metal timber rack, erected without planning permission, following complaints from neighbours.

Parker Building Supplies (PBS) Bellbrook Business Park, erected the timber rack along a boundary with neighbouring residential properties in August last year.

8/10/14- Barbara Thomassen from Bexhill with the storage racks that the neighbouring business has constructed. SUS-140810-165739001

8/10/14- Barbara Thomassen from Bexhill with the storage racks that the neighbouring business has constructed. SUS-140810-165739001

Barbara Thomassen, who lives on Piltdown Close, was horrified when she saw “prison bars” being put up within a few feet of her house and says it has made her really unhappy. She wrote to PBS expressing her outrage and said: “Gone is the lovely tranquil garden that was a pleasure to sit in, replaced by a noisy area that myself and my neighbours feel is dangerous for ourselves and grandchildren.

“On many occasions we have witnessed the struggle the forklift drivers have to load this 18 feet tall metal shelving unit with gigantic bundles of long wooden planks. These are often not tied together so we hope no one is in range when the first accident happens.”

Neighbour Judy Sibson was also “absolutely shocked” when the metal structure went up, adding: “It just appeared without any warning. It’s like a great big wall of lego with timber across it. Parker’s have a lot of land there, why did they have to build it so close to our homes? It’s dreadful. What I want to know is when is it coming down?”

Mrs Thomassen claimed she and three neighbours asked PBS to move the metal shelving to another part of their yard, and requested that they explain why the racks were erected without the necessary planning permission.

PBS took over the site 18 months ago and Operations Manager Phil White said they spent over £150k on refurbishment. Mr White said he was aware of complaints when the open back timber racks (which are used for storage) were erected. “We had conversations with the ladies who complained. We will be guided by Rother District Council (RDC) and we offered a retrospective planning application. Our architect is working on the submission.”

A RDC spokesman said: “We have advised the company concerned that the structure erected overlooking Piltdown Close is not a permitted development and have asked them to remove it as soon as possible. If the company wishes to retain the structure in its current position, they would need to submit a retrospective planning application, however we have advised them that such an application would be highly unlikely to be successful because of its location and its impact on neighbours.”