Residents' fears over Kettering warehouse park
A resident who lives close to a planned warehouse park has voiced his concerns ahead of an expected planning decision by Kettering Council tonight (Tuesday).
Last month the Northants Telegraph reported that work to build five warehouses could start immediately if new plans for Cransley Park are approved.
A decision was deferred at the last planning committee meeting but it is recommended that it is approved tonight, subject to conditions.
Wesley Cash, who lives at Furnace Cottages in Northampton Road, says the effect of the changes to the plans needs to be addressed.
He said: “Why is this plan being considered under adoption of a previously granted permission where there was a limit to the space of warehousing allowed, a limit that has been breached five times over?
“How can it be claimed that the site will have no impact on traffic in the area?
“The annual daily traffic past the site entrance is in excess of 14,000 vehicles and if you add to this the 1,917 vehicles the site is expected to generate, we are looking at a huge amount of traffic flow each day that will now be affected by new traffic lights and pedestrian crossings.
“It is claimed in the proposal documentation that there will be no impact on the homes close to the site.
“But with about 2,000 vehicle movements every day being at the rear of the homes (which to date has never had activity such as this) there will be an immediate impact in the air, light and noise pollution to the rear of the homes.”
Cllr Jim Hakewill (Con, Slade) said he sees no reasons to change the original plans.
He said: “This is recognised as a key gateway site to the town of Kettering.
“We considered the development here back in 2006 and put a restriction on the amount of warehousing.
“Local people were comforted by that restriction and the fact that there were going to be some attractive-looking offices and a really nicely-designed hotel.
“I do not see any reason for changing those plans or should we just accept another set of sheds because that is the flavour of the month in 2016?
“I would like to see a proper design brief which make everyone proud when they drive past it.”
St Francis Group development director Gareth Williams says the original plans were very much of their time.
He said: “The key here is that the new planning permission, if granted, allows us complete flexibility on the type of occupier we can accommodate.
“This is a condition of the fund financing the project, although the park is very likely to accommodate a range of manufacturing, light industrial and logistics occupiers.
“If a limit is placed on any one class of user, we will not be provided with the finance required to build these new units.
“We are proposing to build five highly specified units at Cransley Park to meet unsatisfied demand in the local market.
“Our desire to invest £26m into the local economy is a massive expression of confidence in Kettering and one that if allowed to be delivered will enhance the borough’s efforts to drive forward the local economy.
“If we achieve a satisfactory planning consent, we will build this scheme and build it in a single phase in units from 25,000sq ft to 100,000sq ft ready for occupation by the end of 2016.”