Northampton residents steel themselves for next plan after gigantic warehouse rejected

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A proposed distribution and storage depot for Travis Perkins on the edge of Northampton has been rejected, against officers’ recommendations.

Residents of West Hunsbury strongly opposed the warehouse, which is just off junction 15a of the M1, on the grounds of its size and position on green belt land.

Travis Perkins' planned new building at the Lodge Farm Industrial Estate

Travis Perkins' planned new building at the Lodge Farm Industrial Estate

After councillors went against the recommendation at a Guildhall meeting last night, residents were pleased but wary.

Parish council chairman Stephen Tomlinson said: “Speaking personally, hopefully they won’t be back. One hopes they withdraw graciously.

“But there have been several plans for the Milton Ham land that have been rejected.

“It’s my personal view, but I think Travis Perkins will appeal.

“I imagine resident, will be pleased for now but then begin to think what else may be proposed.”

Asda have been among the previous applicants, with plans featuring two warehouses on the same site rejected in 2002 after complaints from more than 750 people.

The latest Travis Perkins building would have had a footprint of approximately 46,000 square metres and a maximum height of 18 metres.

West Hunsbury Parish Council objected on the basis of pollution by slow-moving lorries, round-the-clock usage and use of greenbelt land.

They were also worried that the Milton Malsor crematorium and nearby sports pitches would have been overshadowed.

Meanwhile, in better news for Travis Perkins, its application to demolish parts of its site off Harlestone Road and rebuild a new headquarters was approved by councillors last night.

In all, three sites within Lodge Farm Industrial Estate will be developed as part of the plans.

Mandal House will be redeveloped to form an office building and training centre, and innovation centre with 241 car parking spaces.

Lodge Way House will become a three-storey car park containing 938 spaces, with solar panels on its roof to power the nearby offices.

The Harveys site will become a new five-storey building that would contain a retail unit, a gym, additional office accommodation and archive storage. Travis Perkins will retain an existing office building on the junction of Ryehill Close and Lodge Way.

Councillors were told that other sites the firm had considered then rejected included the ex-Greyfriars Bus Station site. The gym and retail proposal made the company think approval of such a plan would have been possible.