Walk of protest at Chippenham warehouse bid site
Cepen Park residents staged a protest against plans for a 15-metre high warehouse with 150 HGV movements, day and night, through Chippenham.
Residents’ Association members walked around the perimeter of the proposed 750,100 sq ft distribution centre for home, garden and leisure retailer the Range on Saturday.
Traffic and light pollution were the major concerns of the 34 who gathered at the site, west of the A350, between Allington Farm Shop and the golf club.
The plans are a venture between the Range, First Industrial and Chippenham 2020, who say it will add £34 million a year to the county’s economy.
But Chevral Close resident Margaret Burbidge said the location, opposite Celandine Way, would be wrong.
“It is going to be a huge monstrosity," she said.
"It is going to impact on the traffic in our estate. And they’ll have to have lights on 24 hours for security.”
Proposals include 854 car spaces and 75 goods delivery bays. About 150 HGV movements a day are expected, most from 6am to 10pm, but some deliveries would be made at night.
Husband Brian Burbidge, 66, said: “It will open the floodgates for a huge industrial estate. There are brownfield sites available, for example on the A4 opposite Sainsbury’s, or the airfield at Hullavington.
"The A350 is the western boundary. We will end up with every tree being cut down and be a concrete jungle.”
But The Range, which held an exhibition of its plans two weeks ago, said the A350 created a natural boundary with the new site and the residential area.
There would be 200 to 350 staff on site at any time, with shifts starting at 7am, 3pm and 11pm.
Mr Burbidge said: “350 staff are going to be leaving and 250 more coming at 3pm, when the schools are coming out.”
Oliver Bertram, development director at First Industrial, said feedback had been positive.
He said: “A large number of respondents are excited about the prospect of a major employer investing in Chippenham, creating hundreds of new jobs and supporting the economy.
“The site layout is being carefully considered. We will look at opportunities to mitigate any impacts.”
Building could start next May, with an aim of opening in spring 2016.
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