Decision delayed on business park expansion creating 650 jobs
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A decision on plans to expand a Great Blakenham business park that could create more than 650 new jobs has been deferred so that issues around the environment and highways can be ironed out.
Curzon De Vere Ltd lodged plans to extend the Port One Business and Logistics Park off Blackacre Hill, which would see a further five new warehouse units created on top of three that have already been approved but not yet built.
According to the developers, there is strong interest from firms in joining the park, and if approved could create around 665 new jobs.
But while Mid Suffolk District Council’s development control committee on Wednesday morning voiced their general support for such a development, it opted to push back a decision.
That is in order for more information on highways and environment mitigation measures to be returned.
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Among some of the key concerns were that the buildings could be too close to the nearby trees screening the site, impacts on a bat colony less than 1km away which contains rare species, and questions on whether the Claydon roundabout improvements should be delivered before any further expansion.
Councillor Barry Humphreys said: “Isn’t it great news that in this time of national mass unemployment that somebody has got the confidence to actually develop and bring jobs to Mid Suffolk?
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“I think we should be really thankful for that, but I don’t think it should be at any cost.”
The application will come back to the committee for a decision at a later date once more details on highways and environment have been collated.
Nick Davey on behalf of the applicant said an £8million warehouse investment on the existing site was nearing completion and would be providing 150 jobs, and added: “On the back of that development and the excellent transport links, my client is getting a lot of interest in the site, and this application is there to try and meet that need.”
Its location close to the A14 and the Port of Felixstowe were recognised as key benefits.
Elsewhere, Great Blakenham Parish Council has raised concerns about potential light pollution and flood risks, while the 20m height of the buildings which will sit on a 30m hill has been highlighted by Little Blakenham Parish Council as being of concern.