Stop the A5/A508 junction Warehouse Development

by stop3000trucks.org - Furtho Development Objection Group in Milton Keynes, Northamptonshire, United Kingdom

Total raised £8,694

raised so far

201

supporters

We are raising funds and campaigning to stop a massive and inappropriate warehouse development on the borders of Cosgrove and Old Stratford.

by stop3000trucks.org - Furtho Development Objection Group in Milton Keynes, Northamptonshire, United Kingdom

 New stretch target

Our aim is to stop this inappropriate development. 

So far with your help after fees we have raised nearly £8,500 through Crowdfunder and over £4000 through private donations and fundraising. But we have spent £800 on website hosting, banners, printing and insurance.  The largest expenditure has been on consultants and legal advice - £5,900 so far and a further £4,500 in the pipeline. Four reports covering hydrology, ecology and transport have stopped the development in its tracks and forced Frontier into drastic revisions.

We are expecting Framptons to come back with revised planning documents. If we want to respond, we will need to pay for more work. The costs of this are uncertain at the moment, but each of the four reviews were originally between £2000-£3000.  So we need your continued support to help fund any consultant reports that may be required to challenge the new planning documents.

The Strategic Planning Committee is where the decision about this development will take place. At that committee, the planning officer, the developer and a limited number of objectors are allowed a few minutes to present their arguments. You already know how complicated this case is and none of us are planning experts, so FDOG has now engaged a legal firm to look at the findings of the commissioned reports and local planning regulations etc. This will help us formulate further objections and develop a case for presentation to the Strategic Planning Committee


Our objective

A group of concerned residents have got together to oppose the planned warehouse development at the A5/A508 roundabout between Cosgrove and Old Stratford. 

The land has been earmarked for development as a light industrial zone offering employment and in keeping with the local area. 

Our view is the development meets none of the above criteria. 

Of the proposed development, an Environmental Consultant - Dominic Woodfield CEcol, CEnv, MCIEEM has said: "Quite extraordinarily incongruous to its location and threatens significant impacts on landscape".            

This massive development and related infrastructure will negatively impact on traffic using the A5, A508 and A422 . It will cause air, light, noise and environmental pollution and destroy land inhabited by protected species. It shows no concern for those who live within a five mile radius who will be most impacted by the development.

We are fundraising to promote and expand our campaign and, when necessary pay, for expert advice and witnesses. 

So far with your help after fees we have raised nearly £8,500 through Crowdfunder and over £4000 through private donations and fundraising. But we have spent £800 on website hosting, banners, printing and insurance.  The largest expenditure has been on consultants and legal advice - £5,900 so far and a further £4,500 in the pipeline. Four reports covering hydrology, ecology and transport have stopped the development in its tracks and forced Frontier into drastic revisions.

We are expecting Framptons to come back with revised planning documents. If we want to respond, we will need to pay for more work. The costs of this are uncertain at the moment, but each of the four reviews were originally between £2000-£3000.  So we need your continued support to help fund any consultant reports that may be required to challenge the new planning documents. Please donate whatever you can. Crowdfunder provide an excellent service and charge a small fee for every transaction. They also ask you for a tip but you can opt out of this as it is not compulsory.

The Strategic Planning Committee is where the decision about this development will take place. At that committee, the planning officer, the developer and a limited number of objectors are allowed a few minutes to present their arguments. You already know how complicated this case is and none of us are planning experts, so FDOG has now engaged a legal firm to look at the findings of the commissioned reports and local planning regulations etc. This will help us formulate further objections and develop a case for presentation to the Strategic Planning Committee

The four reports produced for us and Cosgrove Parish Council can be found on our website : stop3000trucks

We are lobbying Parish Councils some of which are already supporting us and objecting to the development. West Northamptonshire Council are aware of objections from the public, various agencies and other organisations. Dame Andrea Leadsom, MP, who wholeheartedly supports our campaign,  has raised her constituents' concerns with Government Departments. 

The development as proposed is wholly unacceptable and we need support, financial and other, to get it stopped or at least changed.

All donations will be accounted for and only used for expenditure related to this project. Full accounts will be made available and at the end of our campaign any surplus funds will go to Willen Hospice and the Canal & River Trust.

Although the West Northamptonshire Planning Application page shows the date for comments has closed, comments and objections can still be sent up to when the application is considered. Due to the number of objections and unanswered questions raised, the application is likely to be re-submitted. 

Our website

Full details of the planning application and supporting documents can be found here:

Frontier Estates Furtho Pits Planning Application

Click on the first document General Photographs and the planning images will download as a photomontage pdf.

The scale of the development with images can be found here:

Framptons Proposal Document

The proposed development

This link to the site plan - Site Plan shows the true scale of the development.  The large warehouse - Unit 1 - is 240m long,144m wide and 21m high.  This one unit alone is bigger than five full size football pitches. 

The lines in front of the unit are for loading bays for 46 heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) with a further 45 HGV parking spaces. Parking spaces for over 300 motor vehicles are also shown for this one unit but, as it is unlikely to employ this number of people, they could also be used for HGV parking. This is just one of the units.

The small unshaded box on the bottom right is the existing warehouse. This, once again, shows the massive scale of the proposed development.

Traffic

A modest estimate of commercial vehicles using the development is 3000 vehicles per day.  Access is proposed via a right turn off the A508. This will inevitably slow traffic on the A508.  Heading from the A5, the proposed junction will be before the Dogsmouth Brook: this is approximately 300m from the roundabout and, at times, may cause tailbacks to the already congested junction. Highways England have said the A5 roundabout is already over capacity in the morning rush hour and close to capacity in the evening. They have therefore not accepted the developer's traffic model.

The original plan was to build a roundabout to access the development but this has been changed - to make Unit 1 larger.  Greed vs traffic delays, congestion and driver safety. 

Little consideration in the developer's traffic submission has taken into account the increased traffic that will be caused by the other massive warehouse developments at the southern end of the A5 at South Caldecotte nor at Junction 15 where the A508 meets the M1. 

Nor the proposed DHL Warehouse Development at Towcester: https://www.facebook.com/groups/savetowcesternow

Likewise, no consideration was given to the trebling of traffic heading into Cosgrove during the open season of Cosgrove Park.

Traffic will be increased along the roads to Deanshanger and on to Buckingham, Potterspury and on to Towcester, Yardley Gobion and on to Grafton Regis and Roade. This will cause further delays at peak hours. Traffic from Castlethorpe, Hanslope and Haversham will also be affected.

The developers' proposals show the project to be net zero. How can this be when it will generate so much increased vehicle movement?

Environment

The site will be open, accessible and floodlit 24 hours per day seven days per week. Some of the houses in Cosgrove will be less than 40m from the warehouses (see image 11 in the link below). Old Stratford will be looking out onto floodlit warehouses. 

The purple shading in the second image here -  Planning application images shows parts of the development will be visible from as far away as Stony Stratford, Wolverton, Castlethorpe, Yardley Gobion, Potterspury and Deanshanger, with subsequent light pollution.

Flora and fauna

The site is home to, or adjacent to the habitat of, two protected species - badgers and otters; both are frequently seen. The developers propose to relocate a badger sett to the middle of the site which will be in use by vehicles  24/7. This shows a rather cavalier approach to protecting nature. Bats, reptiles and amphibians are often to be seen on site but evidence produced so far by local wildlife lovers  is anecdotal so can be ignored by the developers.

There is, of course, a proposal to develop a country park but no explanation has been given as to who will pay to maintain the park, empty bins etc nor how access will be provided or where visitors will park. Another empty gesture.

Access from Cosgrove to the proposed country park can be made via the footpath opposite the Scout Camp, image 9 in the link shows before and after..... not an argument for preserving nature.

Flood risk

Residents will be aware that the fields immediately below the development are part of the Ouse flood plain and are frequently under water. Consequently the Environment Agency, with others, have raised objections to the existing proposals. Although the developers have incorporated some flood relief into their planning, their own calculations predict the site could be flooded. No assessment has been made on the impact of additional runoff to flooding either upstream in Stony Stratford or downstream in Haversham and beyond.

Employment

The developers, in their own submission, say most employees will come from Milton Keynes. So no real benefit to the local people who will bear the brunt of the traffic, noise, and pollution. As a concession to increased traffic caused by employees, they are proposing a cycle parking area bigger that the one at Milton Keynes station. How realistic is it that large numbers of staff will cycle from Milton Keynes? Another empty gesture to placate the planning process.



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