An ongoing planning application to create another distribution centre in Raunds, just off of Brick Kiln Road, is continuing to be met with issues in approval.
Highways England have published a new report on 18th April which results in a formal recommendation:
that planning permission not be granted for a specified period
Highways England state:
we noted that the applicant’s proposal to use the existing Services Access to access the development site was in contravention to Paragraph B24 of Annex B of Circular 02/2013 and as such not considered acceptable
Highways England confirmed that these proposals would constitute a departure from policy B24 and a business case would need to be submitted to DfT for consideration
In order to allow the applicant to submit the business case, Highways England recommends that planning permission not be granted for a period of three months
At this time, we do not know if this recommendation has been accepted although if it has, then the applicant appears to have another 3 months to provide more information for another review to take place.
Raunds Town Council have also put in a strong objection to this planning application with key points including:
- A fifth exist from the A45 roundabout will cause congestion at the roundabout
- The access road is currently used as a parking area by vehicles and the plans do not demonstrate how this will be managed
- The original plans included a layout to allow office spaces and smaller industrial units to allow small businesses in Raunds to expand to. The new plans takeaway from this
- The original permission showed the height of commercial buildings at 12 metres. The new proposal increases this amount to 18 metres (a 50% increase)
- The development moves to 24-hour operation, rather than standard business hours
- A further large warehouse on the edge of Raunds will contribute to further erosion of the character and appearance of the area
Many of you may have also recently heard that BP Oil have put in an objection to the proposed distribution centre on the land near Brick Kiln Road.
This objection was entered in January 2018, and for those of you that may be interested, below are the details:
“I confirm that I am instructed on behalf of BP Oil UK Limited who hold the freehold interest in the service area adjoining the site which is the subject of planning application reference 17/00266/FUL for commercial development as a distribution centre (B8 Use Class) together with ancillary offices, Parking, servicing and site landscaping.
I confirm that my client has separately instructed Nigel Ozier, expert planning consultant of Aitchison Raffety, to prepare representations relating to this planning application.
I appreciate that commercial matters are not directly relevant to the determination of a planning application.
It is important however that the planning authority is properly advised when there are specific circumstances that affect the ability of the applicant to implement its proposals, if permitted
In the case of the present application, a right of way has been reserved through my client’s site for the benefit of land to the rear which forms the application site.
Under the terms of the original transaction, my client was required to lay out an access road to adoptable standards.
This work was undertaken by my client as long ago, I believe, as 1992.
Inspection will confirm the existence of this access.
The critical points to note in relation to the application are, however, as follows:
1. Having completed its contractual obligations, the applicant has no rights to make any amendments whatsoever to the road. It is understood that in order to service the application site to current standards, it would be necessary to slightly widen the road and adjust the accesses into the McDonald’s restaurant. The owner of the application site has no rights to require BP to extend the width of the right of way or modify its arrangements
2. Whilst the original documentation contained an obligation on BP to construct the access road to adoptable standards, this obligation merely specified the standard to which the roadway was
to be constructed. My client was not and is not under any obligation to offer the service road within the service area for adoption. The status of the existing road remains a private access
road which is not subject to highway rights.
In conclusion, therefore, were planning permission to be granted in favour of the application site on the basis that its access is to be made through the service station, the consent would not be
implementable other than with my client’s agreement.
Whilst my client would normally look to act reasonably and commercially in relation to such matters, this is a case where it would not be minded to accede to a request to grant additional rights because to do so would be prejudicial to the safe operation of the service station.
I confirm that the consent could not be implemented on the terms in which it is presently sought.
I will not repeat the broader points relating to operational matters which I understand will be dealt with by Mr Ozier on my client’s behalf.
I would state however that it would be undesirable in commercial terms to allow the service station to be bisected by a public road.
In particular, this would sterilise the land which lies to the right-hand side of the access road and reduce its potential future use in relation to the service station. It is not possible at this stage to determine what these future uses might be but this land could be required for use in connection with the operation of the site for alternative fuels.”
What are your thoughts? – let us know in the comments below