FEARS have been raised that plans to build a concrete batching plant in the centre of Chelmsford will have damaging affect on the city.

Plans were thrown out by planning officials for the development on the former railways goods yard on Brook Street back in October, but an appeal has since come forward by Brett Concrete Ltd, the company behind the plans.

People in the area now fear if the appeal is won that heavy industrial vehicles and machinery will disrupt daily lives.

A resident, who lives close to the site and wished to remain anonymous, said: “If this goes ahead it will have huge consequences on traffic, noise and pollution. It will cause all sorts of problems for residents and businesses nearby.

“I have spoken to lots of residents in the area and we are all keen for this appeal to be rejected. Essex County Council rejected the original application last year for good reasons, so it seems silly to let it go through again.”

Lib Dem councillor for the Marconi ward, Jude Deakin, is also against the plans. She said: “The only people that want this is Brett. Locally, I can say I have not met one person who supports these plans.

“The new Marconi development is across the railway and Bellway Homes certainly don’t want it either for new families and children moving in.”

A batching plant makes concrete, with a typical structure featuring numerous large cylinders.

The original application was rejected after it was decided that the plant would be to noisy, not be in keeping with the local area and failed to provide any enhancement to the local environment. It states there would be 38 vehicle movements per day to and from plant.

Brett's director of planning Mike Courts said an appeal was lodged because the application was recommended by the County Council and then rejected by the planning committee.

Commenting on fears from those in the area, he said: “There will be no noise and traffic is acceptable, this was proven by highways having no objections. It will be fairly benign and no one will notice it.”

A decision is not expected for “several months”.