Bus driver turned tycoon facing objections to ground-raising plan

A FORMER bus driver who now operates a multi-million pound industrial enterprise is facing local objections as well as a petition protesting against his latest ambitions.

Thomas Crompton wants to raise ground levels to the north of Neville Road at his recycling park in Bradford and has submitted a retrospective planning application.

Since ditching his bus driver’s uniform for rather sleeker business attire, Mr Crompton’s success in the city has known no bounds – and he now enjoys a nationwide reputation providing all manner of services for the construction industry from waste management to demolition services.

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A report by planners says the site is situated within the Bowling Employment Zone and as such, “new industrial and commercial investment should be maintained and encouraged ... the ground raising works have been carried out in a generally tidy manner”.

The proposals – after being given detailed consideration – are recommended for the granting of planning permission.

However, some people have objected to the plans in addition to a petition that had, by yesterday, been signed by 52 residents of Douglas Road, Douglas Drive and Lower Lane.

The five letters of objection contain a range of concerns, and suggest potential remedies, including:

“Residents’ cars and windows have to be washed weekly, windows have to be closed to prevent dust getting into houses and washing cannot be hung out to dry without becoming dirty.

“In order for residents to live alongside the site with little or no impact the applicant must do everything in his power to control the dust, dirt and mud that has become a way of life for so many residents over the last five to seven years.”

“Any increase in the height of the site relative to adjacent land to the west would exacerbate dust and dirt problems and create an even more overpowering landscape/eyesore.”.

In addition to this, the petition objections say:

“HGVs accessing the Thomas Crompton Recycling Park deposit mud, stones and dust on Neville Road creating perilous driving conditions, particularly in wet conditions when the road becomes very slippery and dangerous.

“We are concerned that the proposed developments will cause an increase in the volume of dirt and heavy goods traffic.”

But one letter was received by Bradford Council in support of the plans. This said the council had allegedly been “unfair on Mr Crompton’s business, the applicant is good for the area and should be given a chance”.

A meeting of the council’s area planning panel will take place at City Hall next Thursday.

Councillor John Robertshaw, (Conservative Bowling and Barkerend), said: “I am concerned that residents need reassurances that the area under review will be safe and that the company will work with the local authority to improve relations with Thomas Crompton and the community.

“It’s important that we work together. Thomas Crompton has played an active role in the community and has always been responsive and available when required.”

Mr Crompton started in haulage with just one wagon after spending almost 10 years as a bus driver – a time he describes as being a significant experience in his life that gave him an insight into how people think.

He realised he could help with other areas and began investing in the equipment and expertise needed with the aim of making his firm the single point of contact for construction companies.

After operating from his own home, the business took off slowly and by 2004 he was determined to establish his own site.

He bought a house on Neville Road, part of the old Federal Mogul site and since then has never looked back.