Pyestock developers get more time for schemeBy Stephen Lloyd
January 07, 2013
DEVELOPERS have won the right to extend the life of a massive warehouse scheme between Fleet and Farnborough.
Outline permission for the Pyestock mega depot was granted in September 2009 but developers PRUPIM and Prologis asked for more time to implement their controversial proposal.
An application for an extension of time for the submission of reserved matters by three years, and the subsequent implementation of the scheme by a further two years, has now been granted by Hart District Council, despite concerns from residents.
Peter West, of Pondtail Road, Fleet, said he objected to the application to extend the life of the permission for a number of reasons.
“The original application relies on assumptions, opinions and surveys which must now be completely out of date,” he pointed out.
“Given the original rejection of this scheme by Hart and the dubious overruling by someone unfamiliar with the scheme, the public deserves a further opportunity to examine this scheme based on up-to-date information.”
Mr West said this should include the impact of new housing at the former Queen Elizabeth Barracks in Sandy Lane, Church Crookham, and in Hitches Lane, Fleet, plus worsening congestion on the M3 and local roads.
“It is unreasonable to expect nearby residents to endure the ‘planning blight’ caused by this development for a further five or more years,” he added.
Stephen Roome, of Coombe Drive, Fleet, strongly urged Hart to refuse to extend the planning permission until a number of conditions were met, including the carrying out of a comprehensive survey of night-time noise at Pondtail and a comprehensive survey of night-time traffic and noise at locations close to the Minley link.
An objector from Kings Road, Fleet, warned Hart: “Listen to your constituents and say no. Traffic is a massive problem on the roads surrounding the proposed site.
“The benefit of potential additional jobs is far outweighed by the negative effect on the people living nearby.”
A resident of Kempton Court in Farnborough said the extra time for the completion would cause even more damage to the fragile Site of Special Scientific Interest at Fleet Pond.
“It is not unreasonable to suspect that this project may never be completed,” they added.
“Full occupancy may never be realised and we will be left with a half-complete building site.”
Paul Weston, senior vice-president at Prologis, said: “We are very pleased that Hart District Council has granted the extension of time application for the outline planning permission.
“Although we have a detailed planning consent for the site, the outline planning permission gives us the flexibility to deliver buildings that meet the exact requirements of occupiers who could potentially bring new jobs to Fleet and Farnborough.
“It is our intention to consult community representatives on future proposals.”
More than 12,000 people objected to the Pyestock scheme, warning it would wipe out the green ‘lung’ between Fleet and Farnborough.
Objectors feared the depot, now renamed Hartland Park by the applicant, would create thousands of lorry movements, having a huge impact on the environment.
Giving evidence during a month-long public inquiry into the controversial warehouse plan, Bob Schofield of campaign group SPLAT (Stop Pyestock bLot Act Today) warned that almost nowhere in Hart district would be immune from an invasion of HGVs if the scheme went ahead.
However, PRUPIM and Prologis said it would create up to 1,600 jobs and clean up the site.