330ha Leicestershire industrial park expansion given go-ahead

A Leicestershire council has approved plans for a 330-hectare extension of an industrial park onto greenfield land, despite public concerns over air quality and traffic.

Magna Park: expansion approved
Magna Park: expansion approved

Harborough District Council last week gave the green light to two outline planning applications for agricultural land next to the 200-hectare Magna Park business and logistics park near Lutterworth.

The first application by DB Symmetry proposes up to 279,000 square metres of storage and distribution buildings with offices plus a country park on an 89-hectare site.

IDI Gazeley’s separate 239-hectare scheme would include up to 420,000 square metres of storage and distribution buildings, offices, a 3,700 square metre logistics institute and a country park.

A detailed application from IDI Gazeley for a 140-space HGV parking facility, an HGV driver training centre, and a rail freight shuttle terminal, was also approved.

According to the officers’ report, the two schemes "if developed and occupied" would provide about 15,500 jobs.

But the report said 575 objections were received from members of the public to the IDI Gazeley application and 784 objections to the DB Symmetry scheme. Objections included concerns over impacts on traffic, residential amenity, heritage, air quality, noise and light pollution.

However, officers said that no air quality objections were raised by the council’s environmental health team and there would be "no decrease in air quality" in a nearby Air Quality Management Area in Lutterworth town centre.

The report added: "Officers do not consider that the proposals would have any demonstrable impacts on any other properties."

Officers also said the IDI Gazeley scheme would cause "less than substantial harm" to Bittesby Deserted Medieval Village, a designated scheduled monument. But they added that "the clear and substantial public benefits of the proposals" would "significantly outweigh" the harm.

Officers said both proposals "will inevitably result in increased traffic flows", but "subject to the required mitigation, the increased traffic flows would not result in a demonstrably significant impact upon the surrounding highway network".

More details on the applications can be found here.

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