Business centre plan to create hundreds of jobs refused over HGVs
PUBLISHED: 08:48 09 November 2020
Proposals to transform a huge redundant factory into a new multi-purpose business complex to create hundreds of new jobs have been refused because it could lead to more heavy goods lorries going past people’s homes.
Planning officers had recommended approval for the project – even though it went against policy in their new Local Plan only given the final go-ahead six weeks ago.
Councillors though were determined to uphold the policy and prevent more misery for people plagued by trucks in Langer Road and Car Road in Felixstowe.
East Suffolk Council planners described the proposals for the former Itron technology factory (formerly home to metre manufacturers Schlumberger) in Carr Road as a “significant investment in a 30 year old factory premises”, creating eight new industrial, warehouse and trade counter units; 12 new offices and a sandwich bar/café for tenants.
It was felt the Languard Point Enterprise Centre could create around 250 new jobs.
The 60,956 sq ft steel framed building – which stands on a 6.53-acre site – was previously home to technology company Itron, which has relocated to the nearby Haven Exchange business park. The former factory was recently up fo sale for £3million.
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Peter Colby Commercials Group applied to carry out the conversion.
Katherine Scott, council development management team leader, said it was felt the project was acceptable because not many HGVs were expected to visit the site because of its design – though the council had no projected traffic figures.
Councillor Stuart Bird said there was a specific policy for the site in Carr Road in the new plan.
He said: “Warehousing will be resisted – that’s what the policy says. It doesn’t say warehousng will be allowed if it is only small warehousing or only a small proportion of the overall site. It says ‘resisted’.
“In Felixstowe we have persistently and consistently resisted warehouse uses at this site because it’s in the vicinity of housing, some of which is immediately across the road.
“To try to circumvent policy by saying it is only a small proportion of the overall site or only small-scale warehousing flies in the face of that policy.”
Councillor MIke Deacon said HGVs already made the area “fairly chaotic” at times, visiting established premises or erroneously being directed to the area by sat navs.
The planning south committee stressed that it welcomed moves to regenerate the factory but warehousing would not be permitted because of the “unacceptable” impact on residents.
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