Basingstoke warehouse creating 1,400 jobs approved by council

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artist's impression of warehouse at DummerImage source, FPCR
Image caption,
An artist's impression of the proposed warehouse at Dummer

Plans for a distribution centre creating almost 1,400 jobs have been approved by a council.

The proposed warehouse, beside the M3 at Dummer, Hampshire, attracted more than 300 objections from residents, environmental groups and MPs.

However, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council approved the plan on Wednesday by a margin of six votes to four.

Online retailer Amazon said it would not comment on "speculation" that it would operate the unit.

The application involved a "major storage and distribution development in a countryside location" adjacent to junction 7 of the M3, the council said.

It said approval was granted because the economic benefits, including the creation of about 1,380 jobs, outweighed the impact on the landscape.

Image source, Google
Image caption,
The site would be a "major development in a countryside location", the council said

Two Conservative MPs opposed the plan because the land is adjacent to a shortlisted site for a new main hospital.

Maria Miller, MP for Basingstoke, said there was an issue over "the impact of increased levels of traffic... on the running of the hospital, particularly access for blue light emergency vehicles".

North West Hampshire MP Kit Malthouse said the hospital should be prioritised, adding the warehouse lacked a "scintilla of architectural merit".

The council said highway access would be "safe and suitable... with appropriate mitigation".

It rejected an outline proposal from the same applicant, Newlands Developments, for three further industrial units on the site because of their visual impact.

The developer said a "major logistics company" was waiting to occupy the site although it would not confirm the firm's identity.

Development director John Barker said the scheme included a new roundabout which would "help not hinder" the hospital plan.

The authority's approval could yet be reviewed by the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government.

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