DC/14/0579/FUL Planning Application - Erection

Planning Application - Erection of (i) 1 no. new weld shop building (ii) 1
no. new assembly and office building (iii) extension to existing
assembly building to provide office space (following the demolition of 5
no. existing buildings) and (iv) provision of additional hard surfacing,
vehicle parking and comprehensive landscaping scheme.
Claydon Yieldometer Ltd, Gaines Hall Attleton Green Wickhambrook
Newmarket CB8 8YA
Thank you for consulting Economic Development and Growth on the above
planning application.
We are both pleased and proud to have such an innovative company as Claydon
Yieldometer Ltd in our area.
Claydons is a home grown success story with five generations of farmers
operating from the same site. The business is the leading direct drilling
company in Northern Europe with over 500 drills in 26 countries and is an
example to other companies who wish to export their products.
Since 2009 Claydons has seen enormous growth, with a 100% year on year
increase. The company currently employs 42 people and this would increase to
60 people the majority of which, if not all, would be from the local area.
Food, farming and agriculture is one of the most important sectors to West
Suffolk. There is a long list of companies already located here within this sector
such as British Sugar; Greene King; Claas; RC Treatt; IFF; Mizkan; Premier
Foods; Shelbourne Reynolds; ATL Agricultural Technology Ltd to name but a
few. Shelbourne Reynolds, for example, has a 5 acre rural site in Stanton and
exports to over 50 countries worldwide.
Nationally, the government has highlighted what it calls “agritech” as one of the
most important sectors for growth. Agritech essentially describes companies
that provide technology for agriculture – like Claydons. The government recently
updated its “Uk Agricultural Technology Strategy” and set aside a £70m fund to
be used as a catalyst for Agritech.
In addition more locally, both of our Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs)
recognise the importance of Agritech as it is the only sector where both LEPs
jointly fund a grants programme. The Agritech Growth Initiative covers
Peterbrough; Cambridgeshire; Norfolk; and Suffolk and has recently benefitted
from another injection of funding from central government.
New Anglia LEP believes in Calydon’s so much it has recently approved a
£280,000 grant from its Grants4Growth fund which is part of a £1.4m
investment by the company in its premises.
St Edmundsbury Borough Council has three corporate priorities; Housing;
Families and Communities; and Growth. We have recently published our Six
Point Plan for Jobs and Growth which aspires to create 10 new business and 120
new jobs in the two years. In my view, growth comes from three areas:
1. New start-up companies.
2. Growth in existing companies.
3. Companies attracted to locate in West Suffolk (inward investment).
Of these three, the most likely source of growth is the second, growth of our
existing companies. These companies are committed to our area, they have
reliable, skilled, local workforce and strong links with supply chains. It is
essential that we continue to support our existing businesses to help them
In terms of location, I researched a number of other agritech companies across
the UK and didn’t find one that wasn’t located in a rural area. In my view the
location is justified for the following reasons:
There is 12 years’ worth of research on site.
The heavy soils present the toughest test for the machinery.
Local expertise/skills.
Sales – the ability to demonstrate the capability of the products.
If this application is refused, the company will be forced to consider moving
large parts of its operation to Eastern Europe where production costs are lower.
The company will reduce the number of people employed on site and the supply
chain will suffer. Gaines Hall would be left as a distribution hub which would be
likely to result in an increase in traffic movements.
It is inconceivable to me that SEBC, with its high expectation for growth in this
area, would not support this application. I would hope that we would continue
to support Claydons and all of the other companies in our area such that these
companies continue to grow. We need to continue to send a very clear message
to other companies that West Suffolk is the location for business and indeed
maybe even the home of agritech.
Andrea Mayley
Head of Economic Development and Growth
July 2014