Wellingborough drive-thru and other units given go-ahead despite pollution fears

Other proposed tenants include an MOT centre

Thursday, 22nd July 2021, 4:06 pm
Wellingborough Town Council is fearful of the amount of pollution which would be caused by a drive-thru being built

An application opposed by Wellingborough Town Council for a mixed-use development on an industrial estate has been given the go-ahead.

The town council objected to the application for the five units on the former Gloverall factory site on the Denington Industrial Estate.

It feared standing traffic for a proposed drive-thru coffee shop would create additional pollution and raised concern about the safety and wellbeing of pupils at a nearby school.

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The town council 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 also objected on the basis that development, especially a proposed MOT centre has insufficient parking resulting in overspill parking on to Denington Road.

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

North Northamptonshire Council’s Area Planning Committee approved the application subject to conditions last week.

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 originally 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.

The proposal is a revised scheme after the commercial market entered a period of uncertainty.

A report to the committee stated: ‘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 council also received two letters of objection, one from occupiers of a house nearby and one from an interested party in Wilby.

The report stated the council’s environmental protection officer had 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.