Controversial warehouses plan rejected

From left, Sutton Courtenay residents Lesley Clements, Julie McDonnell, Christian Sawyer, Bill Hanks, David McKenzie and Steve Noyce, who turned out to protest about the plans

From left, Sutton Courtenay residents Lesley Clements, Julie McDonnell, Christian Sawyer, Bill Hanks, David McKenzie and Steve Noyce, who turned out to protest about the plans

First published in News Herald Series: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering North Oxford, Jericho and Summertown. Call me on 01865 425498

PROPOSALS for two large warehouses near Didcot have been thrown out.

Diageo Pension Trust Ltd wanted to build 1m square-feet of distribution and logistics buildings on land west of Didcot Power Station, off Sutton Courtenay Lane, Sutton Courtenay.

But in a meeting attended by about 40 residents on Wednesday night, the plans were refused by 10 votes to three, with one abstention, by Vale of White Horse District Council’s planning committee.

Chairman Robert Sharp said: “I have great reservations about this application. The scale and height... will spoil the character of the area. It is in the wrong place and at the wrong time.”

It followed concerns from committee members about traffic on nearby roads and that the 23 metre-tall building was too high.

Estates firm MEPC Limited, owner of Milton Park, also sent representative Philip Campbell to object on its behalf.

He told the committee: “This is the first time in my 20-year career I have attended a [planning meeting] to raise concerns about a development.”

Mr Campbell said roads in Milton Park were used by those coming to work and others and took traffic off main highways, but access was permissive. He said: “No-one has accounted for this.

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“If this goes ahead we will likely be forced to restrict access... which will put traffic back on the public network.”

He also said the financial contribution Diageo had been asked to make for infrastructure, about £500,000, was too small.

Mr Campbell added: “We obtained consent for half a million square feet and contributed over £4m.

“This giant is nearly a million square feet and the contribution is about one 16th of ours [proportionately].”

Planning officer Mark Doodes recommended approval for the plans, which would have involved about 2,000 jobs, and said councillors faced a choice between visual impact and economic benefit.

He added: “The need to create jobs has been a large influence on our decision.”

David McKenzie, of the Sutton Courtenay Residents’ Association, said: “It would be just 150 metres from residential housing and the economic benefit to this area would be poor.

Jobs created would be low skilled and people who take them will not be able to afford to live here, so they will come from outside the district anyway.”

 

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10:08am Sat 24 May 14

Flamingo Lane says...

Only low skilled jobs, according to the protesters, and people who'd fill the jobs couldn't afford to live here.

That kind of thinking and sentiment is just so wrong, on so many levels.
Only low skilled jobs, according to the protesters, and people who'd fill the jobs couldn't afford to live here. That kind of thinking and sentiment is just so wrong, on so many levels. Flamingo Lane
  • Score: 2

11:03am Sun 25 May 14

Megs says...

Flamingo Lane wrote:
Only low skilled jobs, according to the protesters, and people who'd fill the jobs couldn't afford to live here. That kind of thinking and sentiment is just so wrong, on so many levels.
Flamingo Lane has clearly not studied the employment issues associated with importing a large warehouse to the South Oxfordshire area.
1. There are less than 1000 registered unemployed in the Vale & South Oxon
2. Of those registered in Oxfordshire, many are in the medium-high skills category.
3. Medium-high skilled people will aspire to appropriate jobs and should not be forced to take on low paid work
4. With respect to lower skilled people, on the day of the decision, two Abingdon based employment agenecies were advertising for "urgently required warehouse operatives for Milton Park/Abingdon", with a pay rate of only £7 per hour, so clearly there is a local shortage of such employees.
5. What the protestors are protesting about is the provision of largely low paid, low skilled work in the proposed warehouse, which will immediately displace c. 300 higher skilled workers already employed in small businesses at the site, which will be forced out.
6. It is true that at £7 per hr it would be difficult to afford to live in the area, unless willing to live in multi-occupancy rented accommodation or drive many miles (there is inadequate public transport). Clearly by driving the £7 per hour rate would be greatly eaten into.
7. What the protestors actually want to see is the site developed, preserving, if possible, the jobs already there, and providing high quality, well paid jobs, such as in adjacent Milton Park. They invite the landowners, Diageo to come up with a much more imaginative proposal than a warehouse.
8. If, Flamingo Lane, you believe these growthfull and developmental thinking and sentiments are so wrong on so many levels I can only imagine you are someone who considers if just fine to take the cheap option of a mega warehouse, which will do nothing for the local economy, and provides minimal grade employment opportunities at a locally non-living wage. Your kind of thinking and sentiment is truly so wrong, on so many levels.
[quote][p][bold]Flamingo Lane[/bold] wrote: Only low skilled jobs, according to the protesters, and people who'd fill the jobs couldn't afford to live here. That kind of thinking and sentiment is just so wrong, on so many levels.[/p][/quote]Flamingo Lane has clearly not studied the employment issues associated with importing a large warehouse to the South Oxfordshire area. 1. There are less than 1000 registered unemployed in the Vale & South Oxon 2. Of those registered in Oxfordshire, many are in the medium-high skills category. 3. Medium-high skilled people will aspire to appropriate jobs and should not be forced to take on low paid work 4. With respect to lower skilled people, on the day of the decision, two Abingdon based employment agenecies were advertising for "urgently required warehouse operatives for Milton Park/Abingdon", with a pay rate of only £7 per hour, so clearly there is a local shortage of such employees. 5. What the protestors are protesting about is the provision of largely low paid, low skilled work in the proposed warehouse, which will immediately displace c. 300 higher skilled workers already employed in small businesses at the site, which will be forced out. 6. It is true that at £7 per hr it would be difficult to afford to live in the area, unless willing to live in multi-occupancy rented accommodation or drive many miles (there is inadequate public transport). Clearly by driving the £7 per hour rate would be greatly eaten into. 7. What the protestors actually want to see is the site developed, preserving, if possible, the jobs already there, and providing high quality, well paid jobs, such as in adjacent Milton Park. They invite the landowners, Diageo to come up with a much more imaginative proposal than a warehouse. 8. If, Flamingo Lane, you believe these growthfull and developmental thinking and sentiments are so wrong on so many levels I can only imagine you are someone who considers if just fine to take the cheap option of a mega warehouse, which will do nothing for the local economy, and provides minimal grade employment opportunities at a locally non-living wage. Your kind of thinking and sentiment is truly so wrong, on so many levels. Megs
  • Score: 0

1:15pm Sun 25 May 14

mrlocal1 says...

People must remember it was yesterday 2 HGV crashed a major crash at the A34 nr Oxford, and 2 weeks ago a person was crushed under a HGV at the Basil Hill roundabout Didcot.
And the 11 hrs of a HGV crash at Milton Interchange with car's "rat running through Milton / Sutton Courtenay. and then there was an HGV crash into a van by the Daily Mail Didcot .
So that's almost a major HGV crash on the A4130 Didcot to Milton or A34 Milton Interchange every 2 weeks !! that would be every week or every other day if the large warehouse was agreed !!
Didcot does NOT have the road network to cope with this large volume of HGV's ...
People must remember it was yesterday 2 HGV crashed a major crash at the A34 nr Oxford, and 2 weeks ago a person was crushed under a HGV at the Basil Hill roundabout Didcot. And the 11 hrs of a HGV crash at Milton Interchange with car's "rat running through Milton / Sutton Courtenay. and then there was an HGV crash into a van by the Daily Mail Didcot . So that's almost a major HGV crash on the A4130 Didcot to Milton or A34 Milton Interchange every 2 weeks !! that would be every week or every other day if the large warehouse was agreed !! Didcot does NOT have the road network to cope with this large volume of HGV's ... mrlocal1
  • Score: -1

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