Council revokes permission for Amazon mega shed

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Basingstoke Council has revoked the planning consent for a 2.3 million ft2 Amazon warehouse at Newlands Developments’ Equites Park Basingstoke.

The scheme had been given the go-ahead by the council in April this year but no decision notice had been signed as the government’s Planning Case Work Unit is still considering a request to the Secretary of State to call-in the application.

Logistics Manager reported that scheme had caused uproar prior to approval with one councillor quoted as saying that “a distribution centre is not part of the vision for the town of Basingstoke”.

Since approval, there has been an effective and sustained campaign to prevent its development from a legal threat from Dummer Parish Council challenging the legality of the decision, based on what it considers to be an error in the information given to the committee about how visible the development would be from the village as well as a campaign to save 80 oaks within the parish supported by Sarah, The Duchess of York and 95,000 other signatories.

Plans for the Amazon facility were expected to consist of a 625,000ft2 footplate with three further mezzanine floors of 547,000ft2. The whole will total 2.327 million ft2 and will include 56,758ft2 of offices. It was thought the scheme could have employed upwards of 1,400 people.

“It is important that we are robust and transparent in our decision making,” commented the borough council’s Chief Executive Russell O’Keefe. “The council has carefully considered Dummer Parish Council’s letter challenging the decision on the application and taken legal advice.

“We have decided that the best way forward is to take the application back to the Development Control Committee. This is possible as a way of resolving this, as the decision notice has not yet been issued owing to the Secretary of State considering a call-in request.”

This means that, unless the council receives notification from the Secretary of State that he is to determine the planning application, it will be re-determined by the Development Control Committee meeting later this year. The date of the committee will be announced once it has been set.

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