Town chiefs oppose freight depot

TOWN chiefs unanimously voted to oppose a container depot in mid Suffolk, branding it of no benefit to their community whatsoever.So many residents turned up to the Stowmarket Town Council meeting to persuade councillors to recommend the district council throws the plans out that people had to be turned away.

TOWN chiefs unanimously voted to oppose a container depot in mid Suffolk, branding it of no benefit to their community whatsoever.

So many residents turned up to the Stowmarket Town Council meeting to persuade councillors to recommend the district council throws the plans out that people had to be turned away.

Some were left trying to listen through the windows and when some of the 100-plus residents started interrupting the meeting they were warned they could be thrown out.

The debate came as town councillors were consulted by Mid Suffolk District Council on whether it should grant outline planning permission for the distribution container park next to the A1120 at Creeting St Peter, near Stowmarket.

If approved by the district authority the 120-acre round-the-clock container depot would take five years to complete and include warehousing, container storage areas and rail sidings which developers claim will create local jobs.

But Mid Suffolk District Council has received almost 1,300 letters of opposition.

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Yesterday the town council met to discuss the plans and moved from their normal meeting venue in Milton Road to the larger Hillside Community Centre in anticipation of a packed meeting.

Frank Whittle, town mayor, said: “This container depot must be stopped, we must fight together.

“This site will be another container stacking depot. This is a greenfield site and the Government wants our countryside protected for all of us.

“We all want jobs and diversity, well-paid employment, but most of this employment will be minimum wage. The depot will have no benefit to Stowmarket whatsoever.”

Duncan Macpherson, a town councillor said: “I suspect we are all against this - this is in the wrong location.”

Fred Hillyer, co-ordinator of the Cedars Park Residents Association, who is among those leading the campaign, said after the meeting: “People are worried about virtually everything to do with this - you are talking virtually 100 lorries an hour during the day and 40 an hour at night.”

But Bidwells, acting for applicant SMMDP Ltd (Stowmarket Multi Modal Distribution Park Ltd) of Norwich, argue that a depot would also create new jobs on a site close to the A14, and the railway line.

The company see the new development creating an opportunity for a combined road and rail operation, seven days a week.

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