A PARISH council has criticised a proposal to build a salt-processing plant in a village.

The Maldon Salt Company wants to develop its facility at Longwick Farm in Joyces Chase, Goldhanger, which it has occupied since 2006.

The proposed change consists of constructing a single-storey salt-processing building.

Residents who live nearby have expressed their concern over the building works and Tolleshunt Major Parish Council has also weighed in, objecting to the proposal. The council said: “The proposed new building is of a size that will have a considerable impact on the open rural nature of the surrounding area and will be visible for some considerable distance.

“The parish council shares the concerns of residents living along Joyces Chase that an increased number of lorries accessing this plant will cause damage to the surface of this private chase over which the salt plant has right of access.

“Noise and pollution from the plant will also have an adverse impact on residents of nearby properties, given the length of the proposed operating hours.”

The planning application says an extra 15 workers would be needed to operate the new facility. The company says it also has a commitment to having a small impact on the envitronment and landscape while helping the local economy.

The application says: “The process of salt production has a low carbon footprint and all efforts have been made to reduce this further through scheduled deliveries and collections to and from the site, car-sharing by staff and the conservation of fuel and power in relation to the salt production itself.

“The proposed development maintains the long history of salt production within the district, and furthers the aims and objectives of Maldon district in supporting and encouraging local business expansion and inward investment into the area.”

A decision is expected to be made by Maldon District Council by Friday, February 28.