AN expansion plan by a mill has been refused by Ryedale Council’s planning committee against the advice of its officers and legal counsel.

The committee threw out an application from BATA in Main Street, Amotherby, a local animal feed compound milling business which also sells fuel and animal welfare products.

BATA wanted to install 12 bulk outloading bins for animal feed storage, together with an integral weighbridge. Each bin could hold ten tonnes of animal feed.

A number of local residents and the parish council objected to the scheme, saying that the noise from the site, which they say is operating 24 hours a day, was above acceptable levels.

The committee had previously deferred making a decision on the plans on two separate occasions but last night refused permission due to BATA not accepting additional conditions suggested by a councillor.

Cllr Steven Mason, the Amotherby ward member, had written to the committee with two conditions to be added, including a vehicle survey that would be used to cap traffic movements to the site and for a further noise impact assessment to be carried out if the permission was approved.

Councillors were told by their planning officers that Cllr Mason’s suggested conditions could not “lawfully be added” as BATA opposed them so the committee could only approve or refuse the application as it was.

Both Ryedale’s planning officers and legal advice sought by the council said that the application was lawful and had been recommended for approval.

Amotherby Parish Council and nearby residents opposed the scheme and submitted their own planning assessment backing their case.

Cllr Mike Potter told the committee he could not support the plans due to the “intensification” of the site.

He said: “Here we have this problem that the specific application appears to be all right and presumably, according to BATA, won’t increase the noise, but the intensification of the site and the 24 hour operation clearly does.

“Planning officers may say, ‘well, that is fine by us because that is planning’, but we are councillors, we are representing the community and there is quite clearly a problem in what is going on in Amotherby with this intensification.

“Now, if they double the number of these bins that, to me, clearly indicates that it is possibly going to double the intensification of the site.”

Cllr Potter said Cllr Mason’s conditions were to “call the bluff” of BATA and he was “really disappointed” with the company.

In its submission to the council BATA said that the expansion would help to secure its future.

It said: “The businesses existing mill storage is now old and constraining its continued operation and the proposed development therefore provides much-needed storage to ensure the continued viability and competitiveness of the business is maintained.

“In conclusion BATA needs this extension to be passed to be able to stay competitive in a challenging marketplace.”

The mill site in the village dates back to the 19th Century.

Amotherby Parish Council said that the noise was of great concern to the village in its objection.

The committee voted by five votes to three to refuse the application. 

BATA can appeal the decision of the committee to the Planning Inspectorate.