27th Feb, 2021

Villagers raise strong objections to ’unacceptable’ plan to build warehouses near Dunchurch and Thurlaston

ANGRY villagers have registered their objections to what they describe as an ’unacceptable’ plan to build warehouses on land near Dunchurch and Thurlaston.

Tritax Symmetry has applied for planning permission to build two logistics units, lorry parking and landscaped mounds on a development covering an area roughly equivalent to five and a half football pitches.

The Save Dunchurch Action Group has submitted strong objections to the scheme, on the basis it would harm the character and appearance of the area, impact the rural landscape, increase traffic, and cause light, noise and diesel pollution.

Group chairman Michael Judge said: “We find it oppressive and completely unacceptable that Tritax Symmetry have the effrontery to be planning more warehouses on more green fields.”

He accused the developers of ‘riding roughshod over the normal, acceptable compliance regulations’ by applying to build the warehouses to a height of 18 metres, despite outline planning permission stating they cannot exceed 15 metres.

He said: “To add insult to injury, knowing that a height restriction of 15 metres would be strictly be applied to the buildings, they blithely ignore that provision and submit these new plans with an 18 metre height.

“The 15 metre buildings will be a blight to the landscape with no significant green mitigation for some decades whatever screening they plan – the additional three metres screening required will take another 10 years to achieve.

“This must not be allowed to happen. These proposals must be rejected.”

The developers say the increase in height is driven by ‘current market signals and the changing economic circumstances as a result of Covid-19’.

In a statement on behalf of Tritax, planning consultants Framptons said: “Buildings of restricted height can remain empty and non-income generating on both rent and uniform business rates. A building of restricted height is likely to take longer to let in the current marketplace due to the lack of cubic capacity and future flexibility.

“The restricted audience it would appeal to would therefore be a strong influence in not undertaking a speculative development.

“The heritage impact has been assessed and it is considered that there is no additional harm as a consequence of the increase in height.”

They added the development could potentially provide up to 392 jobs during operation and 127 jobs during construction.

They said: “The proposed development represents a substantial investment in the borough at a time where there is a national economic crisis, providing major new inward investment and welcome new job opportunities to the borough.”

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