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Basildon boss' fury over extension plans rejection
THE boss of a multi-million pound packaging firm has hit out at planning chiefs for thwarting his bid to expand.
Steven Burrow, operations director at Shalam Packaging, said the decision to turn down his company’s application to double in size -creating 60 new jobs - will leave it unable to compete with large firms in Europe.
He has is now hoping to launch an appeal against the decision - taken behind closed doors by Basildon Council’s planning officers - in the hope of having it overturned.
The Echo told in May this year how Shalam Packaging - which makes packaging for major firms like Haribo, Silverspoon, Homepride and Unibond - applied to the council to double the size of its warehouse on the Bentalls industrial estate.
The move would have boosted the local economy creating the new jobs and allowing the firm to double its production allowing it to store as many as 4,000 pallets of finished food packaging containers.
Their bid to expand came after they had already benefited from a £10million boost from its Israeli owner and won a £1.5million a year contract to provide packaging for DIY manufacturer Unibond.
But the ambitious plans were dealt a blow when the application for the 31-metre high warehouse was turned down on the grounds that the new building would be too high.
Fuming, Mr Burrows’ said the decision flew in the face of claims by council leader Tony Ball and chief executive Bala Mahendran that they want to encourage big businesses to stay in and come to Basildon.
He said: “How can they say the building is too high when it’s sat in the middle of an industrial estate?
“We are surrounded by factories and there are absolutely no residential properties near to us that this would effect.
“The problem is that we needed this expansion to be competitive and compete with other packaging firms in Germany and France and all that will happen now is clients and investors will stay away from us.
“We need to move forward as a company but this has caused us major problems.”
Mr Burrow originally owned a firm, called SP Packaging, which was based in Basildon’s Honywood Road business park and had three other factories in Romford.
Four years ago, Mr Burrow’s firm was purchased by Israeli firm Shalam Packaging, which is one of the leading global manufacturers of plastic containers for food, chemicals, detergents and paint.
The application is expected to be considered by the council in July.
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