Sunday, 20 August 2017

Industrial estate planning wrangle

THE owner of an industrial estate near Watlington has been asked for more information to support a retrospective planning application.

THE owner of an industrial estate near Watlington has been asked for more information to support a retrospective planning application.

Copas Farms has applied to South Oxfordshire District Council to use the former feed mill and other buildings at Lys Mill for storage and industrial use.

However, residents say this would mean more heavy goods vehicles passing through the town and an increase in noise and air pollution.

Now Oxfordshire County Council, the highways authority, has asked Copas to submit a traffic impact assessment report.

It follows a traffic survey carried out by Watlington Parish Council which showed that figures submitted by Copas were “severely underestimated” and lorry movements could be more than seven times greater than estimated.

On one day, 46 heavy goods vehicles were counted, compared with the company’s estimate of 43 in a week.

The council survey took place at the end of April and the beginning of May, days after a fire partly destroyed one of the six buildings on the estate.

Councillor Rhian Woods, chairman of the parish council’s planning committee, said: “We are extremely pleased that our traffic survey has had the desired effect.

“The main aim was to provide the district council with more accurate figures because we have said all along that the number of lorry movements at the site was much higher than that submitted by the applicant.”

Cllr Woods hopes the district council will request an environmental impact assessment of the site.

She said: “The vehicle movements have a detrimental impact on Icknield Way, the throughfare through Watlington and, more generally, the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.”

More than 30 letters of objection were submitted to the district council during the consultation period.

Geoffrey Copas said: “We are due to be in consultation with the parish council to see if we can overcome its concerns.”

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