Residents living close to the site of a controversial factory proposal are being encouraged to have their say at public information events this week.

Network Rail is holding a public two day consultation on plans to build a concrete sleeper manufacturing centre on Bescot railway sidings.

The proposal has sparked fears of noise, air pollution and traffic congestion and over 5,000 people have signed a petition opposing the plans.

Artist's impression of the Bescot concrete sleeper factory.
Artist's impression of the Bescot concrete sleeper factory.
 

Last year, the company announced its plans for a factory which will produce 600,000 concrete sleepers a year.  

After a first round of public consultation events, Network Rail has now moved the proposed site 600 metres towards Sandy Lane and Tame Bridge Parkway station and away from houses on Westmore Way which backed onto the original location.

In addition they will build a new link road to take lorries to the facility directly from the A4031, avoiding passing houses on Sandy Lane.

Jenny Lloyd, a campaigner against the proposed Network Rail factory.
Jenny Lloyd, a campaigner against the proposed Network Rail factory.
 

Vehicles delivering cement and aggregates to the site will now come by Junction 1 of the M5, and leave by a route taking them to Junction 9 of the M6.

The company says the factory will create 105 permanent jobs at the facility and within its local supply chain and generate over  £6 million a year for the local economy when completed.

But campaigners say the factory should not be built so close to a residential area and an out-of-town location should be chosen instead.

Simon Hackett, a local councillor, said he would prefer the company to withdraw its proposal.

"I was hoping that they would find a complete new location away from a residential area for this project, I am very disappointed."

Network Rail is now asking residents to attend one of two open events at Banks’s Stadium on either Friday, March 29, between 2pm and 8pm or on Saturday, March 30, between 10am and 2pm.

A planning application for the proposed factory is expected to be submitted to Sandwell council after April.