New asphalt plant approved

The development of a new road paving company off Sparky Drive overcame objections from an adjacent property owner and received approval from the Central Planning Authority on Wednesday.

CPA Chairman Dalkeith Bothwell said the proposed development met all of the criteria for the zoning of the property, which is zoned heavy industrial.

There was some controversy concerning the project when the company owners, Advanced Road Construction and Paving Ltd., commenced development before the CPA had approved its Planning application, despite knowing there was an objection to the proposed project.

Mr. Bothwell said the situation could not be treated as an after-the-fact approval.

‘The application was in to the Planning Department prior to the work being started, so that couldn’t be taken into account,’ he said.

Mr. Bothwell said both the applicant and objector were allowed to make representations to the CPA board. When there are objections to a proposed development, the applicant speaks to the board first about the proposal, he said.

‘Advanced Road Construction and Paving Ltd. explained why they made a conscious decision to proceed before they received Planning approval,’ he said, adding that the reasons given were primarily because of the financial implication from being delayed.

Among other things, Advanced had already purchased its equipment after being granted a Trade and Business Licence.

Mr. Bothwell said the company explained it had done all the necessary research to know the property was suitable for its proposed development.

‘They also apologised for doing work before the CPA approval,’ Mr. Bothwell said.

The company must still pass all Building Control inspections.

‘It’s not just the plant, but there are also administration offices, off-sets and parking to look at,’ Mr. Bothwell said.

Part of the objection filed by adjoining property owner Caymarl Ltd. stemmed from concern that the new asphalt plant, when combined with an already existing asphalt plant nearby, would create too much dust in the area. It was suggested that a high-end property development near the plant could possibly be negatively affected by the dust.

Mr. Bothwell said Building Control, as part of its duties, would take into consideration things like dust emissions from the plant.

Advanced Road Construction and Paving Ltd Managing Director Mark Scotland said he was pleased with the CPA’s decision.

‘This proves we weren’t trying to avoid any of the planning requirements or to defy the law,’ he said. ‘All we wanted was for the process to be fair, and we are satisfied we had a fair hearing before the Planning Board.’

Mr. Scotland said he is hopeful his company could commence operations within three weeks.

The company will provide hot-mix asphalt as well as chip and spray roads, and concrete curbing and guttering, he said.

The company already has 20 people employed and Mr. Scotland said he anticipated hiring at least five more employees initially.

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