Application to increase warehousing at Kettering’s Cransley Park site rubber-stamped

An aerial view of what the land could look like.
An aerial view of what the land could look like.

An application to increase the amount of warehouses at the Cransley Park site just outside Kettering was rubber-stamped at a council planning meeting this week.

Developer St Francis Group had applied for permission to build five warehouses on the site, having originally only allowed for one.

The bid was opposed by a local councillor and residents close to the site, but the application was approved on Tuesday (March 8) subject to access conditions.

St Francis Group development director Gareth Williams says the original plans were very much of their time.

He said: “The key here is that the new planning permission allows us complete flexibility on the type of occupier we can accommodate.

“This is a condition of the fund financing the project, although the park is very likely to accommodate a range of manufacturing, light industrial and logistics occupiers.

“If a limit is placed on any one class of user, we will not be provided with the finance required to build these new units.

“We are proposing to build five highly specified units at Cransley Park to meet unsatisfied demand in the local market.

“Our desire to invest £26m into the local economy is a massive expression of confidence in Kettering and one that if allowed to be delivered will enhance the borough’s efforts to drive forward the local economy.

“We will build this scheme and build it in a single phase in units from 25,000sq ft to 100,000sq ft ready for occupation by the end of 2016.”

Work on the site could start almost immediately if the access conditions are met.

But Wesley Cash, a resident of Furnace Cottages close to the site, raised a number of objections to the work which will be carried out.

He said: “Why is this plan being considered under adoption of a previously granted permission where there was a limit to the space of warehousing allowed, a limit that has been breached five times over?

“How can it be claimed that the site will have no impact on traffic in the area?

“The annual daily traffic past the site entrance is in excess of 14,000 vehicles and if you add to this the 1,917 vehicles the site is expected to generate, we are looking at a huge amount of traffic flow each day that will now be affected by new traffic lights and pedestrian crossings.

“It is claimed in the proposal documentation that there will be no impact on the homes close to the site.

“But with about 2,000 vehicle movements every day being at the rear of the homes (which to date has never had activity such as this) there will be an immediate impact in the air, light and noise pollution to the rear of the homes.”

Cllr Jim Hakewill (Con, Slade) saw no reason to change the original plans.

He said: “This is recognised as a key gateway site to the town of Kettering.

“We considered the development here back in 2006 and put a restriction on the amount of warehousing.

“Local people were comforted by that restriction and the fact that there were going to be some attractive-looking offices and a really nicely-designed hotel.

“I do not see any reason for changing those plans or should we just accept another set of sheds because that is the flavour of the month in 2016?

“I would like to see a proper design brief which will make everyone proud when they drive past it.”