Quick action saves vital rural jobs | 20 March 09

SWIFT action by the planning team at law firm Ward Hadaway has helped to save 15 jobs in rural Northumberland.

The team was called in again after an Enforcement Notice was served on businessman Richard Jeffrey’s haulage operation and vehicle repair workshop just outside Christon Bank near Alnwick.

The Notice was served by Alnwick District Council because the business was located on a farm and an application to change the use of the farm to accommodate the haulage and repair operations had been refused.

If carried out, the Enforcement Notice would have forced both operations to close down, putting the jobs of 15 workers employed there in jeopardy.

Ward Hadaway’s planning team worked together with Mr Jeffrey’s land agent, Ben Johnson from George F White, to help resolve the situation.

The firm lodged an appeal against the Enforcement Notice and against the refusal to grant planning permission for a change of use for the site.

In parallel two further planning applications were submitted, one for the retention of the workshop and one for the retention of the haulage business on the site.

Both applications were eventually granted, allowing Mr Jeffrey’s businesses to continue operating on the site and safeguarding the jobs of his workforce.

Andrew Moss, Head of Planning at Ward Hadaway, led the firm’s team on the matter.

Mr Moss said: “We are delighted to have helped to resolve this situation, which could have had serious implications for Mr Jeffrey’s businesses and the people who work there.

“With the Enforcement Notice being served, it meant we had a very limited window of opportunity to take action so we had to move quickly to get things resolved.

“Happily for all concerned, the council agreed with our case that it was important for the local economy for the businesses to continue trading and to grant planning permission for a change of use for the site.”

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