Haulage giant hoping to create dozens more jobs with expansion plans

Turners award winning team, from left to right, Adrian Robinson: Driver Trainer Turners (Spalding De

Turners award winning team, from left to right, Adrian Robinson: Driver Trainer Turners (Spalding Depot), Terry Skelton: Group Fuel Program Manager Turners - Darren Peall: Compliance Manager Turners (Spalding Depot), Chris Sheenan: Account Development Executive, Isotrak - Credit: Archant

Haulage giant Turners of Soham could create another 50 jobs if planning permission is granted for a new packhouse and coldstore.

Turners is a major employer in East Cambridgeshire, with more than 800 people on its books, and it says the new development is crucial if it is to retain the business of major clients.

The company has applied to East Cambridgeshire to extend its packhouse and create space for new locker rooms and other staff facilities as well as building new sub-zero packing and storage facilities.

The work will create an additional 12,000sqm of floorspace at its 40-acre Fordham Road headquarters, located between Soham and Newmarket.

In its application, Turners told the council: “Due to the predominance of a handful of retailers in the UK, it is essential that a service provider, such as Turners, adapts on a continual basis – competition in this industry is extremely strong and retailers will often change supplier if their needs are not met.

“The current project is as a result of Turners’ customer’s requirement to have improved citrus packing facilities. This requirement is to create more space for packing and quality control in the packhouse itself – the current facility does not meet the customer’s ever-improving standards.

“If such a facility cannot be provided, then the total citrus business may be lost to another provider who can. It is envisaged that the construction of these two facilities will not only retain business but will also provide additional employment to a further 50 people.”

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The company predicts the work will create up to 15 additional traffic movements per day, though it claimed this was “not considered to be of significance”. According to financial results published in 2010, the company turned over more than £200m, a meteoric rise form the £10m it turned over in 1990.

A decision on the plans is expected within the next eights weeks. To view the plans, or to have a say, visit www.eastcambs.gov.uk