Claims that huge warehouse plans for Colthrop will see Thatcham join up with Theale
The Colthrop Industrial Estate could be about to get a lot bigger with plans for a huge warehouse development.
But the scheme has prompted fears that if accepted, the Tories could be seen to be turning Thatcham into a mini Milton Keynes.
“Politically, if this application was approved it would be dreadful for us,” said Steve Ardagh-Walter (Con, Thatcham Colthrop and Crookham) in a letter to fellow Tory councillors included in the planning documents.
"The Lib Dems are already branding North East Thatcham as 'Thatcham New Town'.
“Another logistics business such as this being built over the road would reinforce the picture that will be painted of the Tories enabling a mini Milton Keynes."
Savills property agents' claims that there is a demonstrable need for additional employment land in the area was also scotched by the councillor.
Savills’ assessment, which accompanies the application, claims there is a lack of such facility in the Thatcham area.
West Berkshire Council will discuss the plans for 19,305 square metres of commercial industrial storage and distribution at tonight’s (Wednesday) eastern area planning committee.
Officers recommended the outline application should be approved despite local opposition.
Locals disagree, saying the ‘ribbon development’ will add more pressure to the busy A4, with up to an additional 57 vehicle and HGV movements per hour in the morning rush hour.
“Midgham does not need this sort of development in the village,” said Derek Collier in an objection letter. “Once you give way to one developer more will come forward to apply for more.”
Others said that the development would result in increased noise, light and traffic pollution for local residents.
“My company owns the field adjacent to the proposed development and we have already been approached by developers,” wrote Tracey Underwood.
“While this would probably be financially beneficial for us, I refused as I don't believe it to be in the best interests of Midgham parish or the countryside.
“Development is creeping along the A4 and, if this continues, Thatcham will soon join up with Theale.”
The committee sits tonight (Wednesday) at West Berkshire Council’s Newbury offices.