Vote on Orwell Crossing logistics park deferred to see impact on homes
A site visit has been sought to look at the impact of a new 60-acre logistics park on the edge of Ipswich on nearby homes. A decision was due on Tuesday for Orwell Truck Stop Limited's application to develop land off the A14 eastbound at the former Orwell Crossing which was deferred until late October by East Suffolk Council's south planning committee. Outline planning permission was secured back in June 2018 for the development, which would be next to the truck stop and close to Ransomes Industrial Estate - and could create more than 1,000 new jobs.
The final application set out access, layout, scale, appearance and landscaping of the development, with members voting to visit the site to look at the impact on nearby homes. One of the reasons was the height of the units, around 21m, which could impact nearby homes.
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Councillor Mike Deacon, who proposed a visit, said it would be so "everybody can be quite clear as to what is going to happen, where it is going to happen, and the impact it will have on local residents." The plans propose to develop three warehouses on the site - two on brownfield land at the west of the site and a larger warehouse on the greenfield eastern portion of the site. It will also induce an improved offslip back on to the A14.
Developers confirmed that there were currently no tenants lined up for any of the units, but demand for warehouse units had proved strong. Tim Rainbird from Quod, agents on behalf of Orwell Truck Stop Ltd, said: "The proposals represent an opportunity to make a much more efficient use of the site by providing high quality, modern, logistics units on a long-standing employment allocation with identified planning consent. "This scheme will deliver up to GBP90million of additional economic activity, GBP1.7m in business rates, GBP40m in additional wages, 300 construction jobs and 1,180 full time equivalent jobs once occupied."
He added that it had the support of the local enterprise partnership and the Port of Felixstowe. Adrian Day, objecting, said: "Myself and other residents in Felixstowe Road are devastated by the scale of this proposal and the adverse impact that the proposed warehouses in a completely inappropriate location will have on the quality of our lives." He cited the expected 24-hours per day use, potential floodlights and building heights as key problems, adding: "We accept this area will be developed - what we object to is the unacceptable level of intrusion from the development on our lives".
The committee had voted four in favour of a site visit and four against, as some members had previously inspected the land during the original outline application.
However, committee chair Debbie McCallum, while voting against a site visit, did not use her casting vote as she felt it was fair for councillors who had not seen the site to do so.
A visit to the area is set to take place on Monday afternoon, with the application returning to the committee for a decision at its next meeting on October 26.