Protesters start fight to halt construction of logistics park near Peterborough

Campaigners have vowed to battle to halt plans to build a huge warehouse and distribution park near Peterborough.

By Paul Grinnell
Tuesday, 11th January 2022, 5:00 am
This image details the location of the proposed A1 West.
This image details the location of the proposed A1 West.

Civic leaders have agreed to fight to block a proposed distribution hub on a 300 acre site off the northbound side of the A1 junction 17 and adjacent to the A605.

Called A1 West, the proposed park, which has been dubbed the Peterborough Gateway 2, is expected to create about 5,500 jobs once completed.

Developers Newlands say it would complement the existing employment zone Peterborough Gateway on the opposite side of the A1 and which was declared full at the end of last year.

This image shows how the planned A1 West logistics hub might appear after completion.

Plans for the multi-million pound development were recently submitted to Huntingdon District Council.

But community leaders, including North West Cambridgeshire MP Shailesh Vara, warn the proposed development of 4.6 million square feet of warehousing contravenes the council’s Local Plan and will mean extra traffic, more air pollution and will harm views of the countryside.

They have also agreed to begin a fund raising campaign to bolster their fight and to seek expert advice on the way forward.

After the meeting Mr Vara said: “I am against this development and will be working closely with the local community who are also against it.

North West Cambridgeshire MP Shailesh Vara. EMN-191213-095725009

“The proposal is in breach of the Local Plan which was agreed only two years ago after a very lengthy and expensive consultation process with the public.

“To now disregard the Local Plan would make a mockery of the whole process.

“The arguments against this development are formidable and numerous and they will be robustly put to the Planning Authority.”

County and Huntingdonshire District Councillor Simon Bywater said: “It’s hugely important that our MP has given his full support in objecting to the development being proposed by Newlands.

“All locally elected representatives from the area are united in objecting to these proposals, which is a major concern for our residents.”

Huntingdonshire District Cllr Marge Beuttell said: “Mr Vara’s support for the opposition of the proposed Newlands Development bordering on the villages, of Alwalton, Chesterton and Elton, will give great comfort to our residents and ward councillors.”

Elton Parish Council Chairman Richard Donoyou said: “All our communities recognise this is a fast-changing world, but we have to think carefully through all the implications of major developments.”

Chesterton Parish Council Chairman Bob Smith said: “Building these mega warehouses on the green fields up the side of Chesterton Hill will dominate the local villages and the countryside for miles around.

“We are delighted our local MP and councillors are supporting us in our opposition to the Newlands scheme.”

Cllr Gerald Williams, of Alwalton Parish Council, said: “Whilst wishing to support reasonable developments and job creation in the area, we are opposed to this specific development as it does not comply with the local plan and has a number of issues for the parish.”