Villagers raise concerns over warehouse plan

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RESIDENTS in Whaplode fear that removing road restrictions to allow lorries to access a storage and distribution warehouse will make their lives a misery.

Objectors have been raising their concerns with South Holland District Council since a planning application was put forward for The Cobgate Building by former DA Green and Sons owner David Green.

Mr Green has asked the authority for full planning permission to continue using the warehouse on Cobgate for business, storage and distribution, to put up a steel fence to separate it from the neighbouring industrial site, and to remove the current height and width restrictions imposed on its access.

However, residents living near the site say this will mean an increase in the number of lorries using the residential road.

They say the road is unsuitable to accommodate the increased lorry traffic – an issue they fought against when access plans were considered in 2006.

The opposition resulted in the current height and width restrictions.

Bill Bell, an objector who lives on Cobgate, said: “We residents are not against enterprise but a fair balance must be struck between the impact of intensified industrial development and the protection of residents’ rights to enjoy an acceptable level of environmental nuisance.

“Approval of this application would fail to do this.”

Mr Bell said he would like Mr Green to consider using the building under current restrictions or to negotiate with the new owners of the old DA Green site to use the previous access.

He also suggested Mr Green could take the enterprise to one of the designated enterprise zones in the area or look at an alternative access route through Mr Green’s own property, which is adjacent to the application site.

However, not everyone in the village has complained about the plans – with a number speaking up in support of the potential employment opportunities it will bring.

The plans estimate about 40 jobs could be created if councillors give permission.

Mr Green says there has been “a lot of sport” over the issue in the village.

He said: “I think that the local residents are over estimating the number of HGVs that will be affected by it. It’s a much smaller amount.

“I think people are panicking rather.”

Mr Green said he was willing to take the objectors views into consideration, and has suggested placing restrictions on the site working hours and number of HGVs using the warehouse to the council.

He said a response from Lincolnshire’s Highways department not to object to the plans was “very encouraging”.

The proposals are due to be debated by the district council’s planning committee, however, a date has not yet been set.