Campaigners thwarted as Lutterworth's Magna Park expansion approved - The Rugby Observer

Campaigners thwarted as Lutterworth's Magna Park expansion approved

Rugby Editorial 29th Jan, 2016 Updated: 27th Oct, 2016   0

PLANS to expand the Magna Park Distribution Centre outside Lutterworth by over one million square feet have been approved by Harborough District Council – despite the opposition of hundreds of local residents.

A district council planning meeting approved Magna Park operators IDI Gazeley’s proposal, which will see the huge distribution hub expand by more than 100,000 square metres.

Residents gathered in their hundreds to protest at the district council meeting at Lutterworth High School on Thursday evening (January 29) – but councillors approved the plans as recommended.

Despite the decision, protesting campaign groups including the Cotesbach Action Group have promised to fight on against the two other applications for Magna Park currently in the pipeline.

Group leader Graham Logan told the Observer: “Of course we are disappointed in the decision but we can all see why the plans were approved by the council. It’s just the reality that the site is a real cash cow for the area and will generate millions in profit.

“We just hope some of that profit can be put back into the district and especially those in the west of the district and those immediately affected by the new build.”

Graham also insisted a demonstration of this magnitude would never have been necessary if planning chiefs had engaged with opposition groups.

He added: “It would never have reached this stage if the council had been mature enough to engage with us at an earlier stage and paid a little attention to the conditions of the plans which affect its residents.

“This whole process has left us disappointed and Harborough District Council will have to work hard to regain the trust and confidence of those in the west of the district.”

Neighbours of Magna Park, including residents of Lutterworth, Cotesbach and Ullesthorpe, strongly objected to the proposal, claiming it would increase pollution, congestion and traffic in the area.

Many argued the downsides of the plans greatly outnumbered the positives – including ‘worsening the traffic congestion and environmental problems that already blight the town’.

Planning bosses said the new facility would provide more than 1,200 jobs to people in the area – including roles in IT, sales, warehouse operatives and drivers – and hope to provide a large bulk of these to Lutterworth residents.

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