60-acre logistic park off A14 approved

Planning permission has been granted for a 60-acre logistics park off the A14 after delays to view the impact of the proposed buildings on nearby homes.  Orwell Truck Stop Limited secured permission to develop land off the A14 eastbound at the former Orwell Crossing on Tuesday after discussions were deferred for a site visit.  Members of East Suffolk Council’s south planning committee visited the site to deliberate concerns over the height of the proposed buildings, around 21m, on nearby homes.

While those fears remain, the land has been allocated in the masterplan for employment use and the plans were approved for matters around landscaping, scale, appearance, layout and access were approved.  Developers Orwell Truck Stop Ltd secured outline permission in 2018. Tim Rainbird, agent from Quod on behalf of Orwell Truck Stop Limited, told the meeting the units would be 66m away from homes – nearly 20m further away than the original plans at the outline stage.

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He said: “The approval of this reserved matters application will give rise to substantial economic benefits – nearly 1,200 full time equivalent jobs in addition to 300 construction jobs, GBP40million a year of additional wages and up to GBP92m per year of additional economic activity. “These benefits will help grow the economy, providing warehousing that supports port-related activities in the right location , addressing deficiencies in the logistics supply market and underpinning key aspirations of East Suffolk’s strategic plan.”

It is anticipated that work on the first phase – the western two units and vehicle entrance – will be in the spring or summer of next year. The 60-acre site will now be developed for three large units – two on the western portion on brownfield land and one on the eastern side on greenfield land. Adrian Daysaid the scheme would “shatter the lives and wellbeing” of residents. 

He told the meeting: “At 21m they would totally overwhelm the properties.” He added that they were ‘too excessive for a rural location’. Graeme Watts, from Brightwell, Foxhall and Purdis Farm Group Parish Council, said it would have a ‘serious impact on the quality of life’ of nearby residents, and cited other concerns around the pedestrian footpath plans to the rear of the site near Felixstowe Road.

With the site off the A14 eastbound carriageway, trucks will be required to use the Seven Hills junction to head westbound.

However, planning officers said improvements to that junction are being secured through the 2,000-home Brightwell Lakes development.