A SCRAPYARD has won its struggle to expand...and promised to be a good neighbour.

Mackers Metals, in Wrexham Road, Laindon, has been given the go-ahead to handle recyclable and electrical materials, just a year after similar proposals were refused.

In three months’ time, the business is set to stop dealing with car crushing, and will begin focusing on metal, cardboard, plastic and textiles.

The expansion project, which will also see a new enclosure built on the site, is set to create five jobs.

Councillors voted in favour of the Mackers Metals proposals during a development meeting at County Hall.

Controversial plans were refused by Essex County Council in February last year following protests from Basildon Council and a 400-signature petition from angry residents, who were worried about increased noise and traffic chaos.

Six months ago, an appeal against the decision was thrown out, but the scrapyard came back with a new application after the planning inspectorate recommended the business stopped its car crushing operations.

Charlie McDermott, who has owned and run Mackers Metals for more than five years, said the expansion would actually benefit residents.

He added: “I want to say thank you to everyone who objected, it only made me more determined.

“It is actually going to be better now, the site will be a lot quieter.

I think once we are up and running with the changes residents will see that.

“By expanding we’re also generating new jobs which will go to local people, which can only be a good thing.”

John Scarola, Labour councillor for Laindon Park, said he would be keeping a close eye on any disruption caused by Mackers Metals. He added: “This isn’t the end, we have got to wait and see what happens.

“If Mackers Metals makes the improvements it says it will, then it won’t be a problem.

“I’m sure we’re still going to have problems with traffic, and I don’t see how noise won’t be a problem.

“It’s just not fair on the residents, it isn’t the right place for what is basically a waste plant.”

Up to 30 lorries a day will travel in and out of the site via Durham Road, equalling 60 movements – which is set to be in line with the current use as a car crushers.

A string of conditions are currently being drawn up by County Hall, but the scrapyard is expected to be allowed to operate from 8am until 5pm on weekdays and 8am until 1pm on Saturdays.