Delay to abattoir decision recommended over fears of cost to council

DECISION DELAYED: Residents of Boosbeck protesting against the re-opening of a slaughterhouse in 2011

DECISION DELAYED: Residents of Boosbeck protesting against the re-opening of a slaughterhouse in 2011

First published in

CAMPAIGNERS hoping for a swift resolution to problems with the operation of an abattoir are set to be disappointed as a council has proposed to delay any decision over fears about potential compensation costs.

Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council's regulatory committee heard a motion last month calling for the authority to force Boosbeck abattoir's closure using a discontinuance order.

Boosbeck Against Slaughterhouse (Bash) has protested about problems associated with the Halal slaughterhouse in the village after they were unsuccessful in a bid to prevent BHM of Middlesbrough re-opening the site in 2011.

And they were angered when some members voted to pass the decision to cabinet members in a move branded as a ‘delaying tactic’ amid fears any closure order could cost the council millions of pounds in compensation.

Now a report issued ahead of a meeting of the cabinet on Tuesday is recommending that the decision is further delayed until a full report setting out all relevant options and considerations are prepared.

A Section 102 order can require that buildings or works can be altered or removed, conditions on land use can be imposed or even that the use of the land should cease.

The authority plans to consult with residents and set a community forum to get as many people involved as possible, but the report also highlights concern that any closure order could result in a claim for compensation.

The report says: “Officers cannot advise the cabinet at this time, what the quantum of compensation might be in this case but it has the potential to be substantial due to the impact of such a notice on the site owner’s land and business.”

Recommending a more comprehensive report to be compiled, cabinet members will be told: “Whilst it is appreciated this will inevitably involve some delay, it would be preferable for delay to be incurred in ensuring that the council acts on a sure legal footing, rather than make a decision without knowledge of the full facts and then to suffer delay through litigation.”

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