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New factory heads for Halesworth

PUBLISHED: 08:00 30 January 2009 | UPDATED: 07:55 01 August 2010

AN ambitious Halesworth business has been given the green light to create scores of jobs after winning permission to build a new factory in the Waveney countryside.

AN ambitious Halesworth business has been given the green light to create scores of jobs after winning permission to build a new factory in the Waveney countryside.

Plastics firm Spectra has outgrown its two sites in Halesworth and said it would be forced to move out of the area unless it was allowed to build a new base half a mile away in Holton.

The proposed site south of Sparrowhawk Road is in open countryside and not allocated for industrial use in Waveney's local development plan, but district councillors said the need to protect and create local jobs was more important.

Waveney District Council's development control committee gave unanimous backing to the proposal to build new industrial units on seven hectares of land after hearing how the company wanted to eventually expand its 35-strong workforce to 200.

Principal planning officer Phil Perkin told the latest meeting that the creation of new jobs and the freeing up of Spectra's existing buildings, in Broadway Drive and Blyth Road, for other businesses was crucial.

“It is felt these issues combined together outweigh the fact the application site is currently not allocated for industrial use,” said Mr Perkin.

“It is a company that has expanded rapidly in recent years and has plans to expand in the future, but this couldn't take place if it was not to relocate from these units.”

Spectra makes plastic containers for cosmetics and concentrate for the colouring of raw plastic, and employed just three people when it opened in Halesworth in 1997.

The company hopes to increase its workforce from 35 to 50 during this year, with aspirations to employ 200 people in the longer term.

Managing director Joe Maynard told the committee: “Our staff are local and we wish to stay in Halesworth and the Waveney district. Spectra is one of a rare breed of companies that is expanding rapidly.”

The company's plans were passionately backed by Holton parish councillor Wendy Mawer, who said the jobs would provide a welcome boost to the village.

She added: “Holton is a village with little employment, except for Bernard Matthews. It is a village with some 400 households, but it has lost all its public facilities. There is no post office, no pub and no shop.”

The development committee heard how the four industrial units would be environmentally-friendly and that the site's woodland area would be retained where possible.

Spectra eventually wants to have a total of 15 units at the site, but will have to obtain fresh planning permission for future development.

Development committee member and Halesworth councillor Paddy Flegg said: “I welcome this application in these hard times.”

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