Fight against Isham warehouse park goes on as developers appeal

Development Land: Burton Latimer/Isham: Land off A509 between A14 and railway/river near Weetabix factory earmarked for development''Tuesday September 12 2016 NNL-160916-200258009
Development Land: Burton Latimer/Isham: Land off A509 between A14 and railway/river near Weetabix factory earmarked for development''Tuesday September 12 2016 NNL-160916-200258009

A bid to build a huge warehouse park near Isham has taken a new twist after the developers appealed against its refusal.

There were jubilant scenes in the Kettering Council chamber in April after DB Symmetry’s application for the logistics park on land north of the A509 was thrown out.

Councillors overturned a planning officer’s recommended approval on the grounds of an “unacceptable highway impact” and because it would have a “detrimental impact on the people of Isham”.

But the developers have now lodged an appeal, which will be decided by the Planning Inspectorate.

Isham villager Graham Rait, who has campaigned both against the development and for the bypass, says he is not surprised by the appeal.

He said: “They must have invested so much money in this scheme so they weren’t going to give up on it.

“The [council’s] core strategy does actually say that that bit of land will be developed and we understand that there will be something there.

“But until there is a bypass the impact it will have is far too significant for the village.”

At present, financially-stricken Northamptonshire County Council has £25m of the £40m needed for the bypass around the village.

Mr Rait added that he feels the planned move to a unitary model has seen the scheme take a step back but that campaigners are trying to get the whole village involved in the battle against the warehouse park again.

A DB Symmetry statement said: “We are disappointed that members voted to refuse our proposals for Symmetry Park, Kettering, despite officers’ advice to the contrary, delaying the delivery of up to 2.3 million sq ft of high quality logistics floorspace and creation of up to 2,800 jobs, contributing towards Kettering’s planned economic growth.

“The plans were brought forward in response to Kettering Council’s allocation of the site for logistics purposes in the North Northamptonshire Joint Core Strategy, adopted in July 2016.

“The application was accompanied by an environmental statement and comprehensive suite of technical assessments, and there were no outstanding objections from statutory consultees to the proposals.

“Extensive engagement with both Northamptonshire County Council (as local highway authority) and Highways England over the past three years had identified an appropriate package of transport mitigation measures, proportionate to the impacts of the development.

“We remain committed to delivering this significant investment into Kettering borough and Northamptonshire, and accordingly have now submitted an appeal against the refusal of planning permission for the proposed development.”