Up to 100 jobs for Whittlesey as major construction company bids for £10m investment in the town

PUBLISHED: 14:56 11 September 2019

Inhams Road, Whittlesey, which shows potential conflicts with HGVs and pedestrians and cyclists. There has been call for a relief road to take traffic from Eastrea through to Benwick Road. Picture; JESS HIBBERT

Inhams Road, Whittlesey, which shows potential conflicts with HGVs and pedestrians and cyclists. There has been call for a relief road to take traffic from Eastrea through to Benwick Road. Picture; JESS HIBBERT

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Sixty jobs could be created in Whittlesey - and 40 jobs relocated to the town - if a £10 million investment is approved for two divisions of a major construction company to be built on the 23 acre site.

Inhams Road, Whittlesey, which shows potential conflicts with HGVs and pedestrians and cyclists. There has been call for a relief road to take traffic from Eastrea through to Benwick Road. Picture; JESS HIBBERT Inhams Road, Whittlesey, which shows potential conflicts with HGVs and pedestrians and cyclists. There has been call for a relief road to take traffic from Eastrea through to Benwick Road. Picture; JESS HIBBERT

The JRL Group has asked Fenland District Council for approval to allow them to build four operational buildings at Lattersey Field, Benwick Road.

The company says the jobs will provide both graduate and under graduate positions as well as apprenticeships; plant operators, fabricators, carpenters, welding technicians, stock controllers and production workers..

A fabrication workshop, an office/welfare building, a washing and painting unit and a dry weather and storage block will house JRL Slip Structures and JRL Plant and Logistics.

Key to the success of their operations is a process known as 'slip forming' which is a construction method involving the continuous pouring of concrete in the formation of tall or long structures such as lift shafts.

Inhams Road, Whittlesey, which shows potential conflicts with HGVs and pedestrians and cyclists. There has been call for a relief road to take traffic from Eastrea through to Benwick Road. Picture; JESS HIBBERT Inhams Road, Whittlesey, which shows potential conflicts with HGVs and pedestrians and cyclists. There has been call for a relief road to take traffic from Eastrea through to Benwick Road. Picture; JESS HIBBERT

A new centre at Whittlesey will mean both divisions of the company relocating there and will involve the storage, fettling, configuration, partial re-assembling, cleaning and painting of components and materials for 'slip forming' at construction sites.

The company says the site - that once housed a Sunday market - has been subject to remediation and levelling in accordance with planning permission granted three years ago.

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In a transport plan submitted to the council, the JRL Group believes the existing junction with Benwick Road operates well "and there are no existing road safety issues".

Inhams Road, Whittlesey, which shows potential conflicts with HGVs and pedestrians and cyclists. There has been call for a relief road to take traffic from Eastrea through to Benwick Road. Picture; JESS HIBBERT Inhams Road, Whittlesey, which shows potential conflicts with HGVs and pedestrians and cyclists. There has been call for a relief road to take traffic from Eastrea through to Benwick Road. Picture; JESS HIBBERT

Former Whittlesey Labour councillor Jess Hibbert said he welcomed the jobs boost to the town; as a former production planner at a local company for nearly 40 years he understood the need for local jobs.

But he said he was not alone in questioning whether Whittlesey should be pressing for a relief road (he suggests from Eastrea through to the Benwick Road) to allow for HGVs to access the industrial estates from the east rather than using residential streets.

He took a series of photos this week at the junction at Inhams Road that he feels illustrates the issues with HGVs in the town.

"There needs to be a relief road - that must be a long term goal," he said. "It took me just an hour to get these photos and in that time two vehicles ran over the corner of the pavement."

He also felt the photos illustrate how pedestrians, particularly mothers, cyclists and the disabled, are at risk because of the interaction with so many HGVs coming through.

"There is a need for a relief road and although jobs are important there must be something done about the access into the town," he said.

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