A huge depot to sort and distribute charity donations could be built on the edge of Kettering.
Buccleuch Property Ltd, the firm representing land magnate the Duke of Buccleuch, wants to construct the depot at the Kettering Business Park in Weekley Wood Avenue near Northamptonshire Police’s shiny estate.
If approved it would act as a sorting depot for the Salvation Army, the charity tackling social inequality for more than 150 years. They already have a clothing collection centre in Pytchley Lodge Road.
The new depot itself would have 5,250 sq m of floorspace, the equivalent of 12 full-size basketball courts. The overall site is 2.34ha, bigger than three football pitches.
A planning statement said: “To generate a revenue stream to fund the various functions undertaken by the charity, the Salvation Army rely on donations from the general public both financially but also in relation to goods.
“The proposed sorting depot will allow the relevant goods collected within the general area to be stored, sorted and subsequently distributed to related retail outlets elsewhere.”
The depot, which would be built on brownfield land, would house 114 staff but it is not clear whether these will be new jobs. The Salvation Army Trading Company - the trading arm of the charity - has been contacted for further comment.
It would have 45 car parking spaces as well as cycle spaces, with a two-storey office facility on-site.
There will also be a drop-off area for public donations.
To the rear of the site with the service yard there will be space for 17 HGVs and 53 vans.
Plans suggest that when fully operating there would be 46 vehicle movements to and from the site in the morning and evening peak times combined.
Advice given to the developers from Kettering Council officers said the plan was acceptable and a ‘suitable use’ for one of the last plots on the business park.
It’s hoped a decision will be made by August 22.
If approved the Salvation Army wouldn’t be the first major charity to open up a base in Northamptonshire.
The Red Cross operate from a logistics centre in Bulwick, under 15 miles away. In 2015 they moved emergency equipment used to provide aid to disaster zones there to allow better access to East Midlands Airport.