THE boss of a company in Kingsley is urging parish councillors to think again before rejecting plans to sell his business site, ridding the traffic-plagued village of up to 20 heavy delivery trucks a day.
Malcolm Heald, managing director of SMH Plastics in Mill Lane, wants to pull out of Kingsley and move his expanding business to an industrial estate in Northwich.
To fund the move, he hopes to sell the Mill Lane site for redevelopment as a small estate of seven houses and donate an orchard at the front of the site to the community.
Mr Heald applied to Vale Royal Borough Council for planning permission, but Kingsley Parish Council objected to the scheme because the site lies within a protected area of green belt.
But, although the company has now withdrawn its application, Mr Heald says he has not given up on the scheme which, he claims, has enormous support among residents and 'is in the best interests of the village as a whole'.
He said: 'The plans are simply in abeyance while we reappraise the original format to see if there's any way we can make them more acceptable to the parish council.'
Mr Heald said he was 'frustrated and surprised' by the parish council's stance.
He said: 'I fully accept that I stand to benefit from the proposal, but I feel it is an opportunity to improve the village, not only visually but, more importantly, from a safety aspect.'
SMH Plastics has operated in Mill Lane for the past 20 years, and Mr Heald said he was aware that heavy industrial vehicles travelling through Kingsley was of 'great concern' to villagers.
He said: 'My company does generate very significant amounts of heavy industrial traffic between 10 and 20 trucks a day, including huge tankers much of which is from the continent.
'I do try to minimise the disruption these vehicles cause, but there are inevitably problems within the village centre and at the entrance to my site in Mill Lane.'
Mr Heald is aware that, even if he managed to get the parish council on his side, he may still struggle to win borough council approval for his scheme, which would involve a departure from Vale Royal's Green Belt policy.
Just two months ago, plans to build houses on the Green Belt site of an established haulage yard in Frodsham were turned down by Vale Royal Borough Council, despite arguments it would improve road safety in the area.
Borough planners said that, although the existing use of the Frodsham haulage yard would be considered inappropriate in the Green Belt if a new application for such a development were submitted, there was a strong presumption against new residential development 'unless very special circumstances exist'.
Mr Heald, who lives in Acton Bridge, said the situation in Kingsley was different.
'I think we have a much stronger case because we are talking about a much greater number of heavy vehicles using country roads, and if we get the backing of the parish council it will be a major step forward.
'But without it, we've got a double fight on our hands.
'I will be left with no real alternative but to expand on the present site or my business will perish.
'Unfortunately, this will result in additional heavy traffic travelling through Kingsley.'