Warehouse plan in Northampton with room for 47 lorries at a time set for green light - despite having no one lined up to move in
A plan to build a block of warehouses fit to load 47 lorries at a time on a patch of Northampton farmland is set for approval next - even though no one is lined up to move into it.
A pair of warehouses with a combined floor space of 30,000 square metres is set for approval on Milton Ham Farm, a 15-hectare site off Towcester Road that lines the M1.
The proposed distribution centre would create up 355 jobs and has space to load up to 47 lorries at once.
However, the plans - which are set for approval at a Northampton Borough Council planning meeting on November 20 - are only 'speculative' and currently have no intended occupier - meaning it would be built without a business lined up to take it over.
The land is currently owned by Travis Perkins Ltd. I the past decade, two other warehouse plans for the site have been rejected by the borough council.
A report for the planning committee reads: "[This development] has the potential to be of great benefit to the development of Northampton's economy.
"It would not lead to significant adverse impacts upon the character and appearance of the surrounding area, neighbour amenity, the highway system, ecology, and flood risk."
However, the plans have received over 40 letters of complaints from residents in the nearby West Hunsbury area who believe the warehouse cause a severe influx of traffic right next to the M1 and impact the parks and walking areas surrounding the farm.
One letter reads: "Ths whole thing is unacceptable. It will be unsightly in my opinion and there I object most strongly. There is also the noise of the trucks probably 24/7 not to mention fumes.
Another read: " would be very sad to see a warehouse erected near to West Hunsbury which I often visit with my children. Please reject this and keep this park in peace.
"How will this area cope with the addition of another possible 300 commuters and numerous HGVs?"
The warehouses are also around 400m from the nearby Milton Malsor Counties Crematorium - but the council says views of the warehouses from there would be shielded by bunding.
The borough council is set to approve the plans - but would also take them off the table in three months time if the developers do not provide a Section 106 'sweetener' offer to enhance public transport to the site and offer construction worker training places.