Protesters rally against Isham warehouse plan

Protesters lined the A509 through Isham this morning to rally against a controversial bid to build a huge warehouse park.

Tuesday, 19th March 2019, 10:07 am
Updated Tuesday, 19th March 2019, 10:16 am
Residents in Isham say the village desperately needs a bypass.

Tonight (Tuesday) Kettering Council's planning committee will decide whether to approve the 200,000 sq m scheme - which has been recommended for the go-ahead - in front of a packed council chamber.

It is the second time DB Symmetry have asked the authority to back the plan which was rejected by six votes to one last year.

But, after council officers said they would not contest a planning appeal because they had 'no chance' of defending it, the developers put in new, largely unchanged plans which will be considered tonight.

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Ahead of the meeting almost 100 villagers made their voices heard along the slow-moving A509 which will only get busier if the warehouse park plan is approved - with calls for a bypass to be built before the warehouses are.

They were met with beeps of solidarity from dozens of vehicles passing them. During the protest an ambulance on a blue light run struggled to get through the bottle-necked traffic.

Parish councillor and bypass campaigner Graham Rait said: "We have just got to put forward our case and hope councillors do the right thing again."

Kettering councillor Jim Hakewill, who will speak against the plans tonight, said: "Last time they [councillors] got the feeling of the community and it was the right thing to do to refuse it.

Residents in Isham say the village desperately needs a bypass.

"The traffic is bad enough without a bypass at the minute and with this development it will just not be acceptable."

Isham parish councillor Clive Hallam said: "The A509 is a major link road between the A14 and A45 and the volume of traffic warranted a bypass 30 years ago. It's done nothing but increase since.

"This should not be considered without the necessary infrastructure in place."

If approved the scheme could create about 2,800 jobs.

Some of the protesters on the A509.

A report set to be discussed by councillors said, with plans for a bypass at a standstill, the developers would have to make sure a 1km stretch of the A509 is dualled between the site and the A14 prior to the first unit occupation.

There would also be a 3km cycle path/footpath running across Junction 9 of the A14 and highways works on the A509’s junctions with Station Road (introducing traffic lights) and Finedon Station Road, making total contribtions of about £6m.

DB Symmetry have also created a HGV management strategy outlining the routes HGVs should and shouldn’t take to and from the site and how they will monitor and enforce it.

The meeting starts at 6.30pm tonight.