NEIGHBOURS on a quiet residential road have slammed a pallet company for turning it into “an industrial area.”

In 2023, Chris Reynolds Pallets set up a new site on which has reportedly been a commercial yard for nearly 100 years. The site had previously been operated by William Dodd Builders who went into liquidation in August 2023.

Plans had been approved on the site in September 2020 to build 14 homes but never went ahead. However, neighbours along Bermuda Road as well as nearby streets Ely Avenue and Broster Close said the new company moving in had taken them by surprise and has had a huge impact. Concerns were raised about potential fire risks, safety issues, the look, and traffic issues as wagons pull up on Bermuda Road.

David Wilde, who has been getting people to sign a petition, said the situation was frustrating, adding: “It looks like an industrial area. I look out of the garden and all you can see is pallets everywhere. It’s a mess, it’s a disgrace.

“The noise is awful, the noise is terrible in the morning. One comes out and one goes in. It’s like a conveyor belt of wagons all the time.

“When you’re sitting out it’s like living in an industrial area. I have been here for 40 years and I have never known it so bad. Now we are thinking of downsizing but no one is going to buy my house looking at that mess over the road.”

Other neighbours said the site was currently “an eyesore” and raised concerns about potential fire risks and safety issues from pallets being “stacked so high.” Photos sent to the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) show pallets falling over in the yard and a lorry parked on the pavement.

Tony, who lives in Ely Avenue, said: “It’s terrible looking out of our window. It’s like a mountain of bloody pallets,” adding: “If you look out of our top floor, all you can see is pallets.”

Carl Ford said: “It’s a proper eyesore and we have got massive HGVs coming down the road double the size of the bus and parking on the pavement and blocking the pathway.”

Responding to the concerns, Jay Reynolds, from Chris Reynolds Pallets, said they were a fully legitimate business and complied with all necessary requirements, adding: “We have created 10 new jobs in the area and have always listened and positively responded to any concerns from neighbours. We have fully complied with all requirements to operate from this site.”

He said the company had followed all requirements from the police on the road and parking, independent fire assessments had been carried out including a visit from the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service. Staff have also been trained in fire marshall and first aid training.

On Bonfire Night and Halloween, the company also said it stations two people onsite for 24 hour security over three days as a precaution. A defibrillator will also be installed which will be available for public use.

Mr Reynolds said he believed the company’s operations were less noisy compared to previous uses of the site and did not work at the weekend, adding: “We on average have three to four wagons in and out per day. This is also a lot less than a busy builder’s yard that would have many wagons, vans, pickups etc. in and out all day.

“We did have a few times when a few wagons turned up at the same time and noticed that there was not enough space in Bermuda Road for them to park up. As we only have three to four per day, we have now implemented a system where the drivers call our manager to make sure they can drive straight in without having to wait outside.

“Our pallets are stored to the industry standard (recognised by the HSE) to a maximum height of 40 per stack. The pallets close to the external walls and fences are less so that they can not fall over into the surrounding areas.

“When pallets come in on deliveries they can be broken and may fall over but this is always taken into consideration and all staff are trained in how to deal with this without causing any risk to other members of staff and surrounding areas.

“We are not aware that any pallets have caused damage to any of our neighbours’ property. I am sure that if this was the case the neighbour would have alerted us immediately.”