Ten thousand join fight against Kettering warehouse plan which would see woodland chopped down

The campaign has hit another milestone

Tuesday, 24th November 2020, 7:00 am

A campaign against a warehouse park which would see part of a popular Kettering wood chopped down has won the backing of 10,000 people.

The fight to save Weekley Hall Wood launched earlier this year when Buccleuch Property (Kettering) Ltd put in plans to build five warehouses and an industry unit on land off Weekley Wood Lane, near the Kettering police hub.

But plans show part of the wooded area loved by many for walking, running and off-road cycling would be destroyed in the process. In total more than 40,000 sq m of woodland is planned for removal, which has drawn a furious response from environmental campaigners. Former Green Party candidate for Kettering's seat in Parliament Jamie Wildman even promised to be in front of the diggers to stop it.

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An artist's impression of the site.
An artist's impression of the site.

And a petition against the plan has now received signatures from more than 10,000 people.

Save Weekley Hall Wood campaigner Dez Dell said: “It was a real moment of joy watching the counter click round to 10,000 on the petition site - I had no idea that when we started this back in March that we’d ever get this much support from the community.

"Every time we hear from a member of the public it lifts us.

"We have a long way to go yet to secure the future of Weekley Hall Wood but hitting this milestone has given the team a huge boost."

Weekley Hall Wood. Credit: Dan Whitney

Applicants Buccleuch Property (Kettering Ltd) say new woodland will be created to mitigate the loss of trees, adding that its impact would not be significant.

If approved the warehouses would total about 30,000 sq m with access from the nearby the hamburger roundabout.

There would be 400 car parking spaces with estimates of 700 full-time jobs and further indirect jobs.

A planning statement said: "Overall, after the proposed embedded and additional mitigation measures have been put into place, the potential impacts during the construction phase will result in predominantly negligible impacts and minor adverse impacts. These impacts are seen as not significant."

The proposed site layout.

Last year Kettering Council declared a climate emergency, promising to put climate change at the heart of every decision they made.

A date for a decision on the warehouse park plan has not yet been set, but campaigners are making their voice heard.

They're also selling 2021 calendars featuring shots of Weekley Hall Wood's natural beauty and the campaign has won the backing of Denise Mackay from Kettering well-being cafe Johnnys Happy Place.

Grace Siddington from the campaign said: “It's so heartwarming to see such a huge percentage of our town supporting the existence of the wood and wildflower meadow.

"It just shows how deeply the people of Kettering and Corby care about Weekley Hall Wood.

"This is a really exciting milestone that gives our community group a great momentum boost."

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