Residents have lost their battle to prevent the 24/7 operation of an industrial site just 20 metres from their homes.

The redevelopment of one of the oldest and largest sites in Trafford has been given the green light – with occupiers controversially given carte blanche to operate when they please, 365 days a year.

Councillors on the borough’s planning and development committee gave the plan for the former Cartwright Group site in the Broadheath Industrial Area the thumbs up at a meeting last week.

The trailer manufacturing company went into administration in 2020 and the site on Atlantic Street has been vacant ever since.

The proposals could lead to 380 full-time jobs, mitigating the loss of 650 jobs when Cartwright closed two years ago, the committee was told by officers.

But some 350 residents living on the opposite side of the Bridgewater Canal on the south side of the 11.6-acre site wanted the hours of operation of the new occupants there restricted.

Trafford’s Green Group leader and Altrincham Ward councillor Daniel Jerrome, addressed the meeting on behalf of the residents, some of whom, he said, live just 20 metres from the site.

He continued: “There have been many complaints about noise coming from the site in the past – Cartwright employees shouting, radios blaring, trucks reversing with alarms sounding. They are praying these problems don’t reoccur.

“Residents’ lives were continually blighted by the prior 24/hour seven days a week work operation of Cartwright.

“There can be no guarantee that residents can be protected from the noise nuisance.”

He said that an acoustic fence on the south side of the site which is part of the plan was 'unlikely to have a significant impact'.

He said: “The 24/7 issue is of critical importance to residents and the nearby ecology of the nearby canal which is home to several species of bats.

“I want the committee to consider the real concerns of the residents.  We want reduced operational hours including weekends, evenings and bank holidays.”

The plan is for the site to be used for general industry, storage and distribution and research and development and industrial processes.

There will be ancillary office use creating a total of 25 units, for use by separate small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs).

Cllr Jerrome’s Green Group and Altrincham Ward colleague Cllr Michael Welton appealed for hours restrictions preventing businesses from operating on the site between midnight and 5am and was supported by Liberal Democrat Cllr Meena Minnis.

She said: “I don’t think it’s acceptable for residents nearby to have something nearby making noise. Disruption in the night is too much. I would want restrictions regarding times of the day.”

However, Cllr Daniel Bunting said he thought the modified layout of the site would be 'an improvement'.

He said: “This will be a significant improvement on the previous situation on one of two main employment sites in the borough.

“This is a chance to regenerate a large brownfield site.”

Vice-chairman of the committee Cllr Barry Winstanley said: “I understand the concerns of the neighbours. Cartwright were not good neighbours, but this will be a more modern industrial site. It will be controlled by the conditions.”

Chairman Cllr Ben Hartley pointed out that the housing on the opposite side of the canal was predated by the industrial site and hailed the 'economic growth opportunity and jobs which can be generated'.

Cllr Laurence Walsh said he thought it was 'reasonable' for the community – particularly the residents – to try to restrict the use of the site.

“Lots of residents have come to use with genuine concerns,” he said. “But I think our hands are tied. If there turns out to be problems we will take measures and move quickly.”

The application from Network Space was approved with Cllr Welton and Cllr Minnis opposing it.