Wheels back in motion for truck stop as appeal is lodged

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Shouts of “shame” and “stitch-up” echoed round a packed room as a controversial plan to build a lorry park near Orton was brought before a planning inquiry.

The proposal to build a 204-space truck stop on land off Orton Road, near Rothwell, was given the green light by Kettering Council in November. This permission was, however, subject to an insurance bond being agreed with the authority to turn the land back into a greenfield site if it stopped being used as a lorry park.The council wanted the bond to remain indefinitely, and gave developers Rothwell Land Ltd three months to negotiate it. The developers felt that a five-year bond was long enough. The applicant never entered negotiations and the plan was thrown out in February.

But the developers appealed the decision and since then, the council has agreed an insurance bond with the developers for three years and six months, and now it has no objection to the lorry park plan.

Despite this the appeal had to go ahead as the decision is not for the council to make, but for the Inspector to decide after listening to all sides.

A meeting was called on Tuesday to hear the appeal, with a packed audience hearing a string of speakers criticise the plan. Stephen Chester, who fronted a ‘No To Lorry Park’ campaign group, said: “We all feel so bitter and let down. The council have left us all in the dark.”

A decision by the planning inspector Isobel McCretton will be made in about two months.