Threat to metals firm in noise clash

Alex Parramore of Alloy Steel Melting Company
Alex Parramore of Alloy Steel Melting Company
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The boss of a Sheffield melting business which plays an important role in the city’s metals trade fears for the future after plans were approved for student flats next door.

Alex Parramore, managing director of Alloy Steel Melting Company, says the new building will be just 30ft from the firm, which starts work at 5am - although it can be as early as midnight.

He added: “We drop things, we bang things, we hit things, the furnace whines, we use a compressor, an air pick and a forklift with reverse warnings - sometimes all at the same time.”

ASMC, on Cross Turner Street near Sheffield station, starts early to take advantage of cheap electricity and avoid the black cabs that line both sides of the street during the day.

Earlier this month planning board councillors approved plans for 138 student flats at the former WW Laycock and Sons building on Suffolk Road.

Tests by consultants hired by the developer appeared to show noise would not be excessive if soundproofing was fitted to the building.

But Mr Parramore fears they were inadequate - and the modifications will be irrelevant once residents open windows in summer.

He said: “I’m concerned that our long term position here will be affected. We have never had a noise complaint and we are not noisy all the time - but in some ways that makes it worse, especially at 5am.

“Forget the sound tests, it’s a question of what the residents think and there’s no protection for us from that.I’m told that if a lot of people start complaining there will be trouble.

“We are a very important part of the metals recycling chain. A lot of what we do - nickel and cobalt alloys especially - goes to aerospace components that are exported. Sheffield is a metals city with a lot of metal dealers.

“But the council has decided that this is not an area for industry any more.”

Not all councillors voted for the scheme.

A council spokesman said if the soundproofing was fitted residents would not have a noise claim.