A huge 200,000 sq m warehouse park on the outskirts of Isham has been recommended for approval.
Kettering Council will meet next week (April 17) to determine DB Symmetry’s bid to build the park on land off the north of the A509.
Plans for the warehouse park, which could create 2,800 jobs when completed, have not been welcomed by local parish councils.
But despite their objections Kettering Council’s planners have recommended that the application be approved.
Villagers in Isham have been campaigning for a bypass for years, but, as we reported on Monday, dualling a section of the A509 northbound between Isham the Junction 9 of the A14 is the more likely scenario should the application be approved.
When asked whether he thought dualling the section of the A509 would work, Isham bypass campaigner Graham Rait said: “No way.
“I think there will be a traffic bottleneck and it will do nothing for Isham.
“The traffic between the roundabouts will be worse than it is now.
“They estimate 4,000-plus vehicle movements a day with the new development and if half of those go south [through Isham village] it will be terrible.”
Other measures which must take place before work starts on the park include:
- re-aligning the westbound slip of A14 J9
- replacing the mini-roundabout at the A509/Station Road junction on the approach to Isham with signals
- building a three-exit roundabout for site access to have regard to future connection to the Isham bypass
- re-aligning the A509/Finedon Station Road junction to the south of Isham
The application received 36 letters of objection, five letters of support and a petition against it with 200 signatures.
Isham Parish Counci raised a number of concerns, including potential conflict of interest.
It claims that Kettering Council would stand to benefit from the project, while the majority of the impact would be on a village not in its district.
Kettering Council said: “The proposal would be subject to Section 106 contributions which could amount to £6m worth of highway infrastructure.
“For clarity this is not a direct financial contribution but primarily relates to the value of the highway infrastructure that is required to off-set the impacts of the proposal.”
It said this is not considered a conflict of interest.
The parish council also raised a conflict of interest claim against Northamptonshire County Council (NCC), which owns part of the land of the site and also has a role as local highway authority.
Kettering Council says that it is perfectly possible and feasible for NCC to provide safety comments and it “just so happens” that NCC is part-owner of the site it is commenting on.
A conclusion by Kettering Council planners said: “The proposed development is considered to be sustainable and should be approved without delay as it comprises the right type of development in the right place and at the right time to support growth in a way that is plan-led.”
Should the plan be given the green light next week, the Secretary of State will be given the option of calling in the application for their consideration.
The meeting states at 6.30pm on Tuesday, April 17, in Kettering Council’s chamber in Bowling Green Road.