Expansion of FP McCann’s Littleport concrete plant will cost £4 million, not £2 million - and protesters are not happy

FP McCann says it is to invest £4 million into its Littleport site - £2 million more than orginally

FP McCann says it is to invest £4 million into its Littleport site - £2 million more than orginally stated. PHOTO: Harry Rutter - Credit: Archant

There has been another twist in the tale of FP McCann’s proposed expansion of its Littleport factory.

FP McCann has now said it is to pump £4 million into the Wisbech Road site – twice as much as its original planned investment of £2 million.

That claim has been criticised by protest group Save Our Fens, who say the company’s calculations just don’t add up.

A spokesman said: “McCann have finally responded to the validity of their claim that the new factory would create 90 jobs.

“McCann announced the claimed investment with a fanfare: 90 jobs on the back of a £2m investment was the newspaper headline. Their spokesman repeated the £2m claim in the papers this year.

“But an academic study suggests that the maximum number of jobs the investment could support is 46, and, even that, is highly improbable.

“Finally, six months after being asked the question by the district council, we have McCann’s response, which goes along the lines of ‘We realise that £2m will only support 46 jobs but whoops, we made a mistake. The investment will be £4m, not £2m. There you are – now it adds up.’”

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Save The Fens has also issued a plea to the council’s planning committee – who will decide the fate of the expansion – to consider all the facts before deciding on whether to allow the company to double its plan and build two new 64-foot silos.

“After six months to come up with an explanation, this is the best they can do. McCann are now plucking figures out of thin air. We ask: what company would proudly announce a £2m investment when it will actually be £4m? It’s all made up,” the group added.

“This lack of credibility, on top of the discovery that the readings in their noise reports were also made up, goes to the heart of our concerns. We want the true facts to be presented.

“But we think that the council, and hopefully the councillors, have finally twigged. Don’t take anything at face value. The High Court threw out the first approval, academics have rubbished the jobs claim, ECDC’s own consultants have rubbished the noise reports, the Environment Agency has said flood risk measures and pollution controls are not adequate.

“As independent experts line up to challenge McCann’s claims, we think decision makers are finally beginning to see the light. The planning decision, when is made, must be made in full knowledge of the true facts. This is all we ask.”