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Controversial Jaguar Land Rover application approved for campus in Leicestershire

Words: Laura Edgar
Jaguar Land Rover Distribution Campus in Leicestershire / IMP Hill Top Estates

North West Leicestershire District Council’s planning committee has approved Jaguar Land Rover’s plans for a new distribution centre at junction 11 of the M42 near the village of Appleby Magna.

The decision was in line with the planning officer’s recommendation.

Farmland will be developed into the firm’s new distribution campus (use class B8), which will be 273,229 square metres in size.

The full application, submitted by developer IMP Hill Top Estates on behalf of the carmaker, also includes ancillary offices, an electricity sub-station, pumping station, the creation of access points from the B5493, cycleways, 2,235 car parking spaces and landscaping.

Outline consent was sought for additional employment spaces and ancillary offices. Any existing buildings on the site will be demolished.

The application was a controversial one. Objections were submitted from 16 parish councils and North Warwickshire Borough Council. However, the planning officer's report notes that no technical issues were raised by other statutory consultees.

The report highlights that the development site is outside the limits to development as set out in the adopted North West Leicestershire Local Plan, but that policies S3 and Ec2 allow for provision of employment development outside limits to development where certain criteria are met.

But residents were concerned about increased traffic – and the implications for the environment, wildlife and air quality.

Nigel Smith, chairman of North West Leicestershire District Council’s planning committee, is reported in Leicestershire Live as saying: “This has been an emotive and challenging planning application which has sparked lots of passion and interest in the community.

“As a committee, we must assess all applications against material planning considerations, planning legislation and guidance and our own local plan.

“This development fits within these considerations and promises to be a significant boost for the local economy and levels of employment.

“Our planning officers will now continue to work with the developers and the local community as this plan moves forward to the construction phase.”

A transport strategy will be introduced to minimise impact on local roads, said IMP Hill Top Estates, which will also aim to improve accessibility to the site. More than 30,000 trees will also be planted.

The new facility, the developer has explained, will service 80 countries and “provide a major boost to the local economy".

“It will enable Jaguar Land Rover to sustain and create jobs, both in its business and its supply chain, with 1,200 positions required from day one and 3,000 forecast by 2030,” said IMP Hill Top Estates.

The site will allow Jaguar Land Rover to integrate its separate Jaguar and Land Rover operations into one single common logistics platform, which will in turn lead to a more efficient and sustainable supply chain, added the developer.

Image credit | IMP Hill Top Estates