MP submits formal objection to 'Amazon' warehouse plan near Cleckheaton

Batley and Spen MP Kim Leadbeater has submitted a formal objection to the proposed "Amazon" warehouse in Scholes, near Cleckheaton, saying she wants to see quality jobs, not a “soulless warehouse full of robots".

Tuesday, 2nd November 2021, 12:57 pm
Updated Tuesday, 2nd November 2021, 12:58 pm
Save Our Spen members, Lib Dem councillors and Batley and Spen MP Kim Leadbeater

Public consultation closed on Sunday, October 31 and almost 1,000 representations have been made to Kirklees Council.

ISG Retail Ltd has submitted plans for a warehouse the size of three football pitches on vacant land off Whitehall Road close to the Chain Bar roundabout in Cleckheaton.

The applicants have steadfastly refused to identify Amazon as the operator but say it would create 1,500 jobs.

Batley and Spen MP Kim Leadbeater

In her objection, Ms Leadbeater said the warehouse was in the wrong place “in terms of its scale and character”.

She added: “My objections included the impact on the environment, air and noise pollution, the safety risk to children at nearby schools from the increased volume of traffic, and the fact that the local road system is already overloaded and could not cope.

“There is no doubt that our area needs new sustainable employment and economic regeneration, but I said that I had seen nothing to convince me that the promised number of new jobs at the site would actually materialise.

“Previously, I raised in the House of Commons the need for local people’s concerns to be taken seriously and in my maiden speech I said: ‘We need more jobs – but good quality jobs doing what we do best in manufacturing and services, not huge soulless warehouses full of robots'.

An aerial view of the 59-acre site earmarked for a vast warehouse near Cleckheaton

“I will continue to use whatever Parliamentary means I can to make sure that happens.”

Other objections have come from Northern Gas Networks (NGN), which has major transmission pipelines go through the site.

NGN said: “The gas assets that are close…form part of the Northern Gas Networks bulk supply Gas Transmission system and are registered with the Health and Safety Executive as major accident hazard pipelines.

“Any damage or disruption to any of the pieces of plant in question is likely to give rise to grave safety, environmental and security of gas supply issues.”

National Highways, formerly Highways England, which looks after motorways and major trunk roads, put a stay on the council making a decision until December 17 while it carried out an investigation.

It raised a number of questions about the impact on the M62 and was concerned how an accurate travel plan and traffic assessment could be produced due to the “non-disclosure of the end user”.

Local residents have objected mainly on the grounds of pollution, traffic congestion and the impact on the environment.

One objector wrote: “These roads are already congested at peak times. It will create pollution from vehicle fumes, light pollution and noise pollution.

“Chain Bar roundabout is frequently gridlocked and can be a nightmare to travel round at the best of times.

"The amount of increased traffic generated by this new warehouse is bound to have a hugely detrimental effect on the whole area.”

Someone else described the plans as a “dreadful, gratuitous destruction of natural habitat to erect yet more ugly, soulless warehousing".

Another added: “The proposal of this monstrosity of a warehouse is totally and utterly ridiculous.

"The town of Cleckheaton has suffered terribly recently due to roadworks/road closures etc.

"Traffic chaos will be an everyday occurrence, making getting around a total nightmare.

“The fact it’s a 24-hour facility is horrendous for the people on Whitechapel Road, not to mention the people in the cemetery who will be turning in their graves!

"How inappropriate is having a huge warehouse right next door to a graveyard!

“Amazon will survive if they have to find somewhere else to put their warehouse - Cleckheaton will not!

"This will totally ruin a small, but up and coming Yorkshire town - please don’t let this happen to our great community!”