Pollution fears over Wellingborough drive-thru plans

Application for vacant site also includes car repair garage

Thursday, 8th July 2021, 12:56 pm
Updated Thursday, 8th July 2021, 12:58 pm
Wellingborough Town Council fears the drive-thru will create more pollution

Wellingborough Town Council is objecting to an application for a mixed-use development, claiming standing traffic for a proposed drive-thru coffee shop would create additional pollution.

The application is for five units on the former Gloverall factory site on the Denington Road Industrial Estate.

The units would include an auto centre with vehicle repair facilities and a cafe/coffee shop with drive -thru together with associated access, servicing and car parking.

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The town council has raised objections ‘due to the additional pollution which will be generated from standing traffic in the drive thru and the access into an already congested area.’

It has raised concern about the safety and wellbeing of pupils at a nearby school from ‘pollution that this traffic will exhume.’

North Northamptonshire Council’s Area Planning Committee is recommended to approve the application with conditions at a meeting on Wednesday (July 14).

The proposed site originally accommodated the Gloverall factory, built in the 1960s. It was cleared for development in 2009-10 and has since remained vacant.

Planning permission was granted on July 9, 2020, for a mixed-use development comprising class A1 (retail) and/or class B2 (including autocentre with vehicle repair, MOT testing, servicing and associated operations) and/or B8 with ancillary trade counter, and class D2 (gym) uses.

A report to the committee states: ‘The proposed amended application scheme would deliver the redevelopment of a prominent gateway site into the Denington Road Industrial Estate which has been vacant for over a decade.

‘Since the granting of the permission for approved scheme in July 2020, the applicant’s agent advises that “the commercial market has entered an extended period of uncertainty because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, with many operators pausing or significantly scaling back investment into new sites.

‘As there is no certainty when confidence will return to the market, the applicant has made the decision to progress a revised scheme, which responds to current operator interest both in the site and in Wellingborough as a location for investment”.’

The report details objections from the town council. It states: “The committee (town council) raised objections to the application due to the additional pollution which will be generated from standing traffic in the drive thru and the access into an already congested area.

‘They raised concerns about the safety and wellbeing of the children in the nearby school from pollution that this traffic will exhume.

‘The committee also objects on the basis that development, especially the MOT centre, has insufficient parking which will result in overspill parking onto Denington Road.'

Two letters of objection from occupiers of a house nearby and an interested party in Wilby raised points which include:

-objection to drive thru café facility based on health, air pollution, noise, litter and traffic congestion.

– Development so close to residential homes with children and the school, trading hours must be considered.

– Lots of litter is discarded from vehicles as they leave takeaways. Indoor cafe where litter can be collected is better.

The report states the council’s environmental protection officer has no objections subject to the imposition of conditions in relation to site specific proposals for the implementation of the recommended construction, air quality mitigation measures and proposals to minimise polluting emissions to air from the operation of the development.