Green light for 1,000 jobs

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Thousands of new jobs are to be created in the district with plans for a new Sainsbury’s warehouse at the DIRFT II expansion take a step nearer approval.

The planned Sainsbury unit on land between the A428 and A5 at the Halfway House site would be nearly 87,000 sq metres in size, plus have additional office space and parking for 789 cars and 260 HGVs. There would also be a new rail spur leading to the warehouse.

The proposal from Prologis went before DDC’s planning committee on Wednesday night (April 3), recommended for approval by officers.

Cllr Alan Chantler said: “I believe Prologis has done a very good job consulting with the local community and councils over the years, not just for this application but right through the development of DIRFT and including the DIRFT III expansion zone.

“DIRFT has been developing for a number of years now and we all knew and hoped that it would expand. This site has been identified for that expansion so I welcome it.”

The report before the committee highlighted that environmental health officers had yet to analyse the noise and air quality impact of the new unit.

However, they pointed out that the council’s officers have no powers relating to noise from rail lines.

Councillor for the area Catherine Lomax said: “I would ask that action is taken to stop nearby rural roads further becoming rat runs for workers and HGVs.

“I would ask that something like a weight restriction is put on these roads.”

She was told by officers that although they felt it unlikely to be worked into this application, that the issue would be raised elsewhere.

Cllr Wendy Randall said: “My main concern is transport to and from the site. Most of the work at DIRFT is shift work, but the buses from Daventry do not tie in with the usual shift times. That obviously means lots of people in Daventry can’t get to those jobs. Why can’t the companies there put on a bus for their workers like firms used to do in the past?”

She was told that Prologis is looking at solutions to the problem.

This application goes before Rugby Borough Council on April 24 as part of the site, including the rail line, which crosses into their district.

In 2009, before Sainsbury had signed the deal with Prologis, the site had been given permission for two separate warehouses.