A BUSINESS is being challenged over fears it could cause subsidence issues – even though the site has been in use since 1964.

Jon Yoxall, owner of Northwich Metals, in Marston, bought the former Dixies Auto Spares site next door four years ago.

He has since cleared the site for use as a caravan storage business called Tour and Store, which opened last year, and he is currently waiting for retrospective planning permission from Cheshire West and Chester Council to change the site’s use from a scrapyard.

But the Cheshire Brine Subsidence Compensation Board has objected to the application, fearing it could have an impact on nearby properties.

Jon said: “I am replacing an existing business that is 55 years old, I am not starting a new one from scratch.

“What the brine board is complaining about, I’ve not got a clue. There has been a business here since 1964, all I am doing is changing the appearance.


“There used to be thousands of tonnes of scrap metal on here, and that has just been replaced by 50 caravans.”

In a notice sent to CWAC, the brine board says it would not normally comment on sites like Tour and Store because it ‘doesn’t appear to include foundations’.

But the board is concerned that the site is located on top of a mine, with multiple shafts in its vicinity, and that it is using soakaways for drainage.

It added that more evidence is needed to show that the business ‘can be undertaken, occupied and used in an appropriate manner without risk to people or property resulting from underground conditions’.

Jon, who has worked at Northwich Metals for 42 years and became owner in 1996, is also being challenged by some neighbours.

CWAC has received six objections from the public, with residents particularly concerned about traffic in The Avenue – a private residential road that links Ollershaw Lane to Jon’s business.

“I try not to cause hassle to anyone – I am a neighbourly person,” he added.


“I want to make a profit – I don’t want another scrapyard alongside mine. But if I cannot have Tour and Store then I will expand Northwich Metals instead.

“There would be double the number of wagons coming to the scrapyard if I expanded it, so the caravan site is really the lesser of two evils.”

Objectors are also concerned about caravans travelling along Ollershaw Lane and a possible environmental impact on nearby Neumann’s Flash.

One comment said: “My family has an intimate history with the village. My grandparents have lived there for as long as I have been alive and my parents moved onto The Avenue themselves a couple of years ago.

“They report a serious decline in the amount of wildlife in the area since these caravans have started rolling in, the foxes and rabbits they regularly saw nowhere to be seen.”

Another said: “A multi-million Pound investment by the Lottery Fund was made to create the Lion Salt Works heritage centre across from the scrapyard with lorries of scrap metal turning all day – not a good example of village life currently for visitors from far and wide.”

Any comments on the application must be submitted to CWAC by Monday, January 14.

To view the plans, search for ’18/04713/FUL’ on the council’s planning website.