A QUARRYING and earthmoving company has been told to remove buildings and installations on its property at Wroughton airfield.

Earthline has been planning a major expansion of operations – but put up new buildings without first getting planning permission.

While that is legal, it does run the risk of enforcement action by the local council – requiring any such buildings to be taken down.

Swindon Borough Council has served two notices on the company.

The first covers new buildings on site which have been put up without planning consent, including an office block, a weighbridge, vehicle refuelling and wash-down areas, an extension to the hangar, and more hard standing.

The second notice is about the change of use of the whole site used by the company, which, again, does not have approval by the council.

This notice includes the office use, storage and distribution, repairs and storage of lorries weighing vehicles and washing lorries.

All were under construction when planning applications were made in February, but the company has since withdrawn those applications.

Villagers in Uffcott and Broad Hinton have been up in arms about the company’s expansion plans, saying the road its lorries would have to use through their village was far too small.

In April they spread mud on the single-track road to show what they said would be the dangerous effects of the quarrying lorries passing though.

Swindon Borough Council did not comment further on the action it has taken but there was plenty of reaction to South Swindon MP Robert Buckland posting the news on his Facebook page.

Colin Scull, who lives nearby, said: “Let's hope this won't be a planning application granted retrospectively. These people need to comply with planning as the rest of us do."

Peter Lawson added: “They will almost certainly appeal on the grounds that permission ought to be granted, which will string it out for another year.”

The notices won’t come into effect for a month, and Earthline then has three months to comply, although it can delay that by making an appeal.

Earthline said nobody was available to discuss the matter.