Despite not being ‘part of the vision’ for Basingstoke, as reported by Logistics Manager last year, Newlands Developments has secured planning for a controversial ‘Amazon’ warehouse on the outskirts of the town, which could provide up to 1,400 jobs.
Approval was won six votes to four at Basingstoke Council’s development control committee last week.
More than 250 people including the local MP, the Mayor of Basingstoke, numerous councillors, as well as residents, objected to the proposals with one councillor going as far as saying that: “a distribution centre is not part of the vision for the town of Basingstoke”.
The plans for the £120 million distribution centre on a 41 acre plot on the 111-acre site just off Junction 7 of the M3 motorway in Hampshire, will see a facility with a 625,000 sq ft footplate with three further mezzanine floors of 547,000 sq ft. The whole will total 2.327 million sq ft and will include 56,758 sq ft of offices.
The facility will be run 24/7 and be highly automated (65%). It will have 791 car and 158 HGV parking spaces as well as 64 dock level doors on two sides. It will have a 20m clear internal eaves.
While there is no official notice that the site is for Amazon, an inopportune file name on a planning document submitted to the council has the name ‘Amazon ARS Basingstoke’.
In its approval statement the council said proposed development would deliver employment opportunities and while it would have an impact on the surrounding countryside ‘it is considered that the impact can be accepted under Policy EP1 when balanced against the benefits of the development including the creation of job opportunities and delivery of a site for storage and distribution’.