Turned-down distribution depot plans for Northampton to get second chance at appeal hearing

Side elevations of the proposed Travis Perkins depot in the south of Northampton. The company will have its appeal heard in June.

Side elevations of the proposed Travis Perkins depot in the south of Northampton. The company will have its appeal heard in June.

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Developers who saw plans for a large Wickes distribution centre in Northampton thrown out last year will have another chance to win approval at an appeal hearing.

Travis Perkins plc wants to build the 50,000 square metre depot on land called Milton Ham, on the Towcester Road just off junction 15a of the M1.

But the application was turned down by Northampton Borough Council in July last year after 218 people wrote letters of objection against the scheme and representations were made by the town’s two MPs.

Many people said the large depot would ruin the character of West Hunsbury and increase noise pollution with 442 extra lorry movements going in and out of the site every day.

But it has now emerged that Travis Perkins has appealed the decision with the planning inspectorate. A hearing has been scheduled at the Guildhall in Northampton on June 21.

Travis Perkins’ statement of case, submitted to the borough council by surveyors Montagu Evans, claims: “It will be demonstrated that the activity generated by the development will not unacceptably impact on the closest residential properties.”

The company has previously claimed the new depot would employ 500 people, but those against it say it will only relocate existing Wickes staff.

Since the appeal was lodged, more West Hunsbury residents have also sent in objections to the scheme.

Jenny McGee, said: “We have a young family and we have recently moved to West Hunsbury because of its green areas and well kept parks.

“We are surprised and amazed that such plans have been submitted for such a hideous eyesore.

“We are confused as to why this plan has been submitted so close to a well-established residential housing estate, when Swan Valley industrial park is a stone’s throw away.”

The proposed building would be 208 metres frm the nearest house.

Travis Perkins’ bid represents a revival of plans by a different firm - featuring two warehouses on the same site - that were rejected in 2002 after attracting written complaints from more than 750 people.

Northampton Borough Council recently discovered it would have to pay out close to £500,000 when an appeal hearing found in favour of a developers’ 1,000 homes plan outside Hardinsgtone.