Skip navigation

Gloucestershire Business News

EXCLUSIVE: Site owner faces doubledecker headache

The director of a bespoke construction firm who put up a 'doubledecker' shipping container at his company base was told by Stroud District Council this week that the buildings must go – but the firm has now gone bust, leaving a question mark on how the "eyesore" will be sorted.

Michael Belsey, director of Stonehouse Garden Buildings Ltd (SGB), which was based in Bridgend, on the edge of Stonehouse, applied for retrospective permission in April after officers stepped in to act in the wake of the units appearing in an overlooked spot some 12 metres from the nearby River Frome.

With a staff of more than 10 at the Stonehouse base, plus three to five installation teams working nationally, SGB built up a UK client base making bespoke garden buildings and rooms for customers across the UK.

But since the order came from the council, the firm finalised insolvency and its website is now listed as 'suspended'.

After planners said the containers had to be removed on July 1, enquiries from Punchline-Gloucester.com revealed that the business went into creditors voluntary liquidation four days before the order was given - leaving planning officers and the owners of the site with a potential headache.

A spokesman for a nearby firm who did not want to be named said it looked likely that the containers, located on a staff parking area, would have to be removed by the land owner and were "quite an eyesore". 

They confirmed that Mr Belsey was believed to be out of the country after redundancies were made two weeks ago.

A heritage and design statement on behalf of SGB from Stonehouse-based JW Architectural Studio, told planners that the two shipping containers which had been added to the site for additional storage were "vital for the business".

The statement added: "The proposal has tried to maximise space on the site by stacking them which shipping containers are designed to do."

The first floor was intended to be clad with timber, the statement added, to "minimise any impact on the wider area and heritage conservation area".

The architects added: "As shipping containers are classed as temporary buildings, once removed of [sic] site the existing site will go back to exactly how it was originally with no permanent damage to the ground or surroundings."

No access changes arose from the containers, with existing car parking remaining, while pedestrian access from Bidgend Road was also unchanged.

In his rejection, SDC case officer Nick Gardiner said: "two shipping containers atop one another represents a poor built form in design and appearance, not suitable for a permanent building solution that fails to be compatible and respectful of the surrounding built form.

"The proposal is also readily visible from public viewpoints, in particular the oversailing [projection over] of the river from Stonehouse Footpath approximately 12 metres from the development."

No proof had been given that the project was not detrimental to flood risk, he said, and the plan had no accompanying ecological information.

Related Articles

Gloucester leader

Gloucester leader "concerned" over £1.14m gap in commercial property income

He said the portfolio needs to work harder to pull its finances out of the woods

EXCLUSIVE:

EXCLUSIVE: "Persimmon road closure is killing our business"

Customers and suppliers sent round in circles, says company boss.

BREAKING: global software error in USA hits Gloucestershire business Image

BREAKING: global software error in USA hits Gloucestershire business

Windows wipeout triggers chaos amid "massive" failure.

Annual quiz raises £2,000 for two charities Image

Annual quiz raises £2,000 for two charities

Quiz buffs helped raise a fabulous £2,000 for two Gloucestershire charities at an annual event last night (Thursday).

Copyright 2024 Moose Partnership Ltd. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any content is strictly forbidden without prior permission.