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Amazon Warehouse on Junction 7 M3

Latest details of the proposed A30 warehouse development have revealed some alarming examples of planning creep.

First its main tenant is almost certainly going to be Amazon. Similar schemes in Tilbury and Darlington have been used to illustrate the planning documents which now reveal a low profile grey flat shed, which is just over ninety feet high. The developers have in many cases failed to send the council the illustrations of this, despite specific requests from planning officials.

It is now clear that the distribution centre will be plainly visible from most of the surroundings.

But more disturbing are the staff numbers. The original proposition was for 146 employees. Here’s the creep – the latest documents show a huge increase in those figures, now 1381. The car park has also been extended to 800 spaces.

Comparing the quoted staff numbers with similar data from the Tilbury and Darlington sites, that 1381 figure may only apply to one shift. The other two quote a similar figure for each of two shifts. Such is the congestion as one shift leaves and another arrives at Tilbury and Darlington, those centres have been forced to stagger leaving and arriving times.

This traffic would be on top of the 24 hour flow of HGVs, and add to the congestion which the other nearby housing developments will already create not only into the A30 corridor into Basingstoke, but onto the M3 at junction 7.

The CAGE group does not have sufficient technical skills to investigate and make official traffic models. This probably needs to be handled by County Council planners. But it is fairly obvious that none of the local roads, including the M3, will be able to cope safely with such traffic volumes.

CAGE and the Parish Council will be contacting the relevant officials to reinforce the case against this development.

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