Southampton Byronswell textile recycling company fined £1,500

PEOPLE living on a street plagued by noisy lorries have said a business using the road should be ‘evicted’ after being fined £1,500.

Residents of Kent Road, Southampton say their homes often shake as large HGVs drive down the residential street towards nearby Saltmead businesses.

Now textile recycling company Byronswell Ltd – which raises thousands of pounds for charity through its work – has been ordered to pay for breaching a council enforcement notice.

The Itchen Business Park-based company in Kent Road has been sued by Southampton City Council.

The authority issued a notice saying the company should stop using its site as a textile recycling center – but Byronswell continued to do so. Residents have complained that company trucks use the street.

Southampton Magistrates’ Court heard the company’s suit between September 6 and November 9.

Magistrates were told the company is still operating on the site “to this day” despite the legal action.

READ MORE: Sewer trucks and HGVs cause chaos on Southampton Street

The company was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay a surcharge of £100 and £635 in costs. It is to be paid at £300 per month.

However, residents of Kent Road said the fine was not enough – and more needed to be done.

Stuart Neale, 75, has lived on the streets since 1965. He said residents had had meetings with councilors to try to resolve the problem, but he continued.

Stuart told the Echo: “Throw them out, I would say. They have to go somewhere else.

“It’s a 20mph speed limit, but you can feel your houses vibrating.

“They’re not supposed to operate until 7am, but the other day one came and the road and it was 5am.”

Another resident who has lived on the streets since 1971 said the road is “a mess” and businesses should be fined more if they break the rules.

The court heard the company was to sign a lease on a new site in Winchester.

Kent Road, Southampton.

But in court, City Council lawyer Rajendra Devandran said it was “a repeat of a pattern” and the company has already made that claim.

He continued to request confirmation of a date for the company’s move.

But speaking on behalf of Byronswell, company director Inese Moncevica said: “We’re just waiting for the plan. We’re suing them asking.”

She added that the company, which works with a range of charities to help grant wishes for seriously ill children, has recorded a loss over the past two years.

But the judge, Angela Brereton, added that the company has now been operating on the site for “a significant period of time”.

Speaking after the hearing, Portswood Borough Councilor John Savage said the fine was less than he expected.

He said: “It has been a blight on the lives of the people of Kent Road.

“It’s been happening since I was a city councilor.

“I am very disappointed that they have not been able to give us a date for their departure.”

Cllr Savage has pledged to take the company to court again if it doesn’t move fast enough.

Following the hearing, Daria Rozbicka, office manager at Byronswell, told the Echo: “It was a very difficult time for everyone as it was during the pandemic, and it was very difficult to find new premises.

The company went on to say that it felt like it had been “targeted” by the city council.

Daria said: “After speaking to most residents of Kent Road and explaining to them what our business does and how we escort heavy goods vehicles via Kent Road, most residents have given positive feedback about our business.

“Many said they had asked Southampton City Council to fix the road and not get rid of businesses in the area.

“We have now found new premises and are looking to move as soon as possible.”

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