JHP Transport in Lanark is finally given green light for its farm plans
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Councillors on the planning committee last week heard of plans to redevelop Townhead Farm on Ponfeigh Road to include an office building area, car washing bay and a hardstanding area as well as creating a haul road.
The applicant, JHP Transport Lanark Ltd, is a major employer in the area and purchased the land in 2016. It is an established haulage business, previously based in Shotts which relocated to the site in 2016 following the purchase of Townhead Farm.
The business operates 24 hours and currently employs 140 people.
An application to use the site as a storage and distribution yard was refused in 2020 on the grounds that the site was not on land designated for employment use and that there would be an adverse impact on existing residential amenity and it did not comply with relevant planning policy.
However, since then, planning policy has been changed and the applicant amended the proposals to include a new link road to serve the business in an attempt to address the reason for refusal.
Councillor David Shearer (Clydesdale West), welcomed the plans, saying: “This has been a long-running application, which came before the committee in the last administration and was refused. At that time I and other members had voted for it to be granted but also we had asked for this to be continued until negotiations could reach a point where it was acceptable to all parties.
“I am glad that we have now reached that point but I’m disappointed that it has taken so long and there’s been so much uncertainty to the people who work on this site and take their employment, many of whom live in Rigside where employment is scarce. I welcome the fact that we have finally reached an understanding that we can all be happy with.”
Councillor Alex Allison (Clydesdale East), echoed these sentiments and thanked the council’s planning officers for their work. He said: “I’d like to thank the planning department for the work that you have put in so that this could actually come to fruition. I think the list of conditions shows the difficulties that you have had and I’m sure that those who are employed by the company will be grateful for the security of employment.”