AN animal feed manufacturer has hit out at plans to restrict goods vehicles using his company's factory.

Chris I'Anson, chairman of I'Anson Brothers, at Masham, has written to Harrogate Borough Council saying the firm had to retain flexibility to respond to customer demand, which could change in the future.

"Agriculture is a 365 days a year, 24 hours a day industry. It is a highly competitive sector, and one in which customer services is key to a successful business," he said.

The company wants permission to build a large warehouse and extend its lorry park, as part of a £700,000 scheme at its feedmill on the outskirts of Masham.

But planning officers say it should be refused.

Ripon area planning committee of Harrogate Borough Council will make a decision on the application on Tuesday.

Last October, planners deferred the application to chief planning officer Tim Richards to approve on condition of landscaping plans. There was also a move to restrict goods vehicles entering or leaving the site outside the hours of 6am to 7.30pm Monday to Friday, 6am to 1pm on Saturdays, with no vehicle movements on Sundays or bank holidays.

But a report to the committee states: "Both the chairman of the company and solicitor acting on behalf of the company have raised strong concerns over the restriction of movement of heavy vehicles and on landscaping requirements."