Plans to build a warehouse the size of three RAF aircraft hangars combined have been given the go-ahead as long as concerns over heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) are addressed.
The decommissioned RAF Newton base is home to five aircraft hangars, which are today used by businesses for distribution, including John Deere and Blue Diamond Garden Centres.
With the exception of the large hangars, the former base was largely demolished to make way for 528 homes built by developer Redrow.
Redrow markets the site as a ‘garden village’ with ‘wildlife-rich spaces’ and homes on the development cost upwards of £259,950.
Applicant Newton Nottingham LLP’s plans to build a commercial warehouse, which would be larger than three of the hangars put side-by-side, were put to Rushcliffe Borough Council’s planning committee on Thursday, June 8.
The plans for the new warehouse received 225 objections detailing 24 reasons why it should not go ahead.
“The application is a large building, there are no two ways around it, and the building is proposed to accommodate a relatively small area of first floor office accommodation,” councillors were told.
“Total internal floor area of the building is circa 14,000 square metres.
“The building would measure approximately 153 metres in length, 92 metres in width and 13 and a half metres in height to its ridge.”
It is not the first time residents have raised concerns over commercial activity on the site.
Permission to extend the working hours of vehicles travelling to and from the current site was sought last year, but turned down in a planning meeting due to concerns from hundreds of residents.
During the meeting Cllr Margaret Goulder, the chairwoman of Newton Parish Council, said the restricted working hours of vehicles are “already being broken”.
She feared the issue may therefore worsen under the new plans.
“There are no safe routes or cyclists to leave the village,” she said.
“At a national and local level more housing is required, but buying a property sandwiched between two commercial areas is not only undesirable but it is dangerous.
“The application could see HGVs driving around a residential area 24 hours a day.
“It may not be an important part of planning but it is for the sake of the residents in Newton who are entitled to a quiet and peaceful environment when they get home.”
The warehouse will be 13,984sqm, or around 3.5 acres, and there will be parking for 35 lorries.
Ward member Cllr Debbie Solomon sought to mitigate the issues by suggesting an additional condition to stop lorries turning left into the village via Hunter Road and Wellington Avenue.
“Road safety is a key concern,” she said.
“The planned increase in residential development will result in more children in the village, up to 300, plus the expectation of a school to be built.
“The route of the lorries through Wellington Avenue is in direct conflict with the school drop-off and pick-up points and can occur at these peak times.”
Following discussions a number of conditions were proposed to allow the plans through.
Lorries will have to turn right to travel along Newton Lane and towards the A46 and a scheme must be submitted and agreed in writing by the borough council to confirm accepted hours of operation.
The applicant will be served with a note suggesting Newton Lane should be widened from six metres in width to over seven metres.
Additional traffic calming measures have also been promised.