Warehouses at North Warnborough would ‘create 1,500 jobs’

Thursday 11th August 2022 4:00 pm
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Aerial view of proposed warehouses development in North Warnborough, July 2022.
The site proposed for the warehouses is a royal park thought to pre-date the Domesday Book of 1086, and Lodge Farm also includes remnants of a Roman villa and a 14th-century park keeper’s lodge (Handout )

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A logistics company says its controversial plans for five huge warehouses on farmland at North Warnborough would create 1,500 new jobs locally.

Obsidian Strategic has applied to Hart District Council to build the warehouses, occupying a floorspace of 1.1 million square feet, on an 80-acre site at Lodge Farm accessed from the A287 but located just 600 metres from the M3.

The proposal has already attracted comments from more than 500 residents, the overwhelming majority of whom oppose the project.

But the applicant states demand for warehousing is at “record high levels” while supply is at “record low levels”, all of which it says points to “strong demand for new warehousing development, nation-wide, in order to keep up with demand and the changing face of retail”.

Its application adds: “The site is extremely well-located for a logistics scheme, being close to the strategic highway network which is accessible via Junction 5 of the M3 motorway, only 600m away.”

Obsidian Strategic also proposes an electric car charging facility, with associated amenity area, extending to 465 square metres and having a capacity for 200 vehicles.

It estimates the warehouses could create 1,500 jobs locally as well as “training and employment opportunities” in the logistics sector, and states the number of jobs in Hart has been declining since 2014.

But as reported in last week’s Herald, villagers fear the warehouses will bring a lot more traffic and HGV vehicles to the A287, and potentially the A31 too, as well as increasing noise and pollution.

The Basingstoke Canal Society is also concerned the development would be less than 220 yards away from the canal, causing an “adverse and detrimental impact” on the vistas the canal is known for.

Odiham Parish Council’s objection states that the village’s historical importance would be diminished.

Hart council is yet to set a committee date to debate the application, which can be viewed online at https://tinyurl.com/4n3h8thw

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