1,000 jobs hope for Chippenham if furniture chain moves distribution centre (From This Is Wiltshire)
1,000 jobs hope for Chippenham if furniture chain moves distribution centre
More than 1,000 jobs could be brought to Chippenham if furniture chain The Range sites its main distribution centre for the south in the town.
The discount homeware company is understood to want to locate a 750,000 sq ft centre north of Allington Farm Shop.
Property Week, a magazine about the commercial property market, reported in April that The Range had settled on a site for its southern distribution centre.
When this was brought up at a public meeting in Chippenham on Monday, held to talk about the location of new housing and employment land in Chippenham, it was not refuted by Wiltshire Council’s planning team, who said they had been in discussion with undisclosed “agents” about B8 storage and distribution use.
Alistair Cunningham, associate director for economic development and planning at Wiltshire Council, said: “We have had discussions with developers and agents in terms of B8 use.
“They have been looking at a number of sites outside the A350.
"The appropriate place if you were to put a large distribution centre at Chippenham, you would want it to the north or the other side of the A350 because it will be close to the town but outside it.”
He said there was no planning application in, but they would want to see development of that nature near the motorway junction.
But he said new housing would not be considered to the west of the A350, as it was a natural boundary for the town.
The news has been welcomed by Rob Perks, chief executive of Wessex Chamber of Commerce, and John Scragg, Mayor of Chippenham, who both said the creation of jobs was a must with the coming housing developments.
Mr Perks said: “There’s links to Bumpers Farm there so that makes sense to create some interest in that area.
"We’ve got to accept that not everything can be done in the town centre, especially something like that.
“The less distance vehicles have to travel off the motorway the better. The A350 is being dualled there; that widening is crucial to relieve the bottleneck.
“We’ve got a lot of residential development but we need the jobs for people to go to if we’re going to attract people to live in them.”
Coun Scragg said: “It’s good for Chippenham. If you’re building another 2,000 odd houses you should create jobs as well so people can work locally.
"If it’s by the A350 it isn’t too close to residential properties and the lorries don’t have to come too far into the town.”
The Gazette has made repeated attempts since April to speak to The Range but the company said it cannot comment.
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