Anger over Midhurst pizza factory’s non stop hours plan

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There was standing room only when objectors packed into the Old Library at Midhurst last night (Monday, May 8) to hear town councillors debate a pizza company’s plans to keep its factory working non stop.

Pan’Artisan in units 25-26 on the Holmbush Industrial Estate wants to work 24 hours a day seven days a week.

And in the face of fierce opposition town councillors decided to object.

Maria Harding said she had lived close to the Holmbush Industrial estate for 21 years and until Pan’Artisan moved in she had not experienced any noise problems. But now her life was ‘intolerable at times’.

“My house vibrates and you can’t speak over the noise.” A particular problem, she said, was the noise of flour delivery tankers when the sides were banged to get all the flour out: “It makes my ears hurt it is so loud.”

She complained she had been woken up at night and added: “My garden is an extension of my home, I have won awards with Midhurst in Bloom three or four times and sometimes I can’t talk to people in the garden because of the noise in the factory.

“The factory is so close it makes our lives intolerable. We hear it all the time even with the windows closed.”

Another neighbour Fay Fearon added she found it impossible to entertain in her garden in the summer because of the noise: “If we had to have that noise, seven days a week, I would have a nervous breakdown. If I wanted to sell the house, how would I, with the noise? It is unreasonable.”

Andy Bowers for Pan’Artisan said: “It disturbs us that possibly we are causing an inconvenience to people in the area.”

He said the company had carried out noise tests “and we have invested a considerable amount of money in reducing the noise impact.” The company, he added, wanted to ‘work together’ with neighbours.

Although the factory was looking to expand, he added, it would not mean an increase in noise, in deliveries at night or at weekends.

Vice chairman of the council John Quilter said: “I don’t believe I can see enough evidence that the issues surrounding this unit have been cured.”

Chairman Mark Purves said anyone moving to the area would accept they were living near an industrial estate with a certain amount of noise and traffic but if the plan went through it would create a precedent. “It could potentially become a really big problem if other units want to do the same.”

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