‘It’s the end of a long battle.” That was the reaction of Tom Blenkinsop to the news that the future of the controversial Boosbeck Abattoir site has been decided. Plans to build housing on the site were finally given the go-ahead by Redcar and Cleveland’s Regulatory Committee today.
The MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland said,
This has been a matter which has been high on the local agenda for some years.
The residents who had thought the abattoir had been closed for good when the former Norman family ceased trading, were rightly annoyed when it re-opened under new ownership in 2015. They were concerned about fumes, smell and industrial activities in the heart of a village, but were caught by land use law which stipulated that former uses can outlive an ownership and start again without the need for a new planning application.
The controversy was heightened when outside, racist and neo-Nazi elements sought to involve themselves on the basis that the plant was processing Halal meats – an intervention the village didn’t need and didn’t want.
However, after a lot of patient negotiation between the local council and the plant operators a deal was finally brokered. The deal is a success for local people as it will mean the closure of the plant for good and the purchase of the land by a housing developer.
Now that planning permission has been granted, the sooner the diggers are on the site, the better. I look forward to seeing the first new households moving into the village.