Demonstration walk planned against huge distribution centre on the edge of Northampton

View looking north east towards the proposed site
View looking north east towards the proposed site

Campaigners from four villages will join together in June to protest against plans for a 430-acre industrial site.

Kitchen suppliers Howden Joinery Group, which is already based in three locations in Northampton, has applied to build a new 2.67 million sq ft national distribution centre and office near Junction 15 of the M1.

On Sunday June 7 residents of the nearby villages of Collingtree, Milton Malsor, Blisworth and Roade, will join together in a footpath walk to protest against plans.

Rod Sellers, one of the campaigners, said: “There are various footpaths that connect the villages, so we want people to start off from one of the starting points in the villages and meet up at a point overlooking the proposed development site.

“It’s partly to increase awareness and to get across to people the shear scale of what’s proposed. It is a huge, huge development.

“A lot of people in the area know about it but there are also people who don’t fully realise what’s planned.”

The four meeting points are: the south end of Collingtree High Street by the motorway bridge; Barn Lane in Milton Malsor just past the Flowercraft Nursery; the playing field in Blisworth; and the A508 to Roade opposite the road to Quinton and Courteenhall.

People are asked to meet at 10.15am to set out at 10.30am.

Mr Sellers said: “The first issue is the shear size – the total land-take is 430 acres which is countryside and farmland.

“That’s a huge loss of open space on the edge of Northampton.

“The other major problem is the traffic. Junction 15 and the roads around it are already busy. It is also an air quality management zone, meaning pollution levels are quite high.

“Building this new distribution centre will mean an increase in traffic, and that will be mostly diesel.

“On top of that, it’s against the strategic plan for the area which doesn’t identify this area for employment use.

“The developer usually points out that it would bring 650 jobs, but across 430 acres that doesn’t seem a good utilisation of the space either.

“The walk is an opportunity for people to understand the scale of what’s proposed, to demonstrate their concerns.

“The fact that four different parishes from around the proposed area are coming together makes it an important event.”

The planning application is with South Northamptonshire Council. Campaigners believe it may go before the committee for a decision in June.