Amazon warehouse Yorkshire: Decision on controversial Amazon warehouse at Scholes to be made in days

Almost 2,000 objections have been lodged against plans to bring a massive Amazon warehouse to Yorkshire.

The fate of the controversial planning application, for a site in Scholes, Cleckheaton, is to be decided on March 15 at a meeting of Kirklees Council’s strategic planning committee. Council officers have recommended its approval subject to conditions.

If approved, the scheme will see a huge ‘fulfilment centre’ built on land close to junction 26 of the M62 at Chain Bar. It is predicted that there would be more than 200,000 HGV journeys in and out of the site every year.

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Since the plans came to light, a campaign group, Save Our Spen (SOS), has formed and local councillors and Batley and Spen MP Kim Leadbeater have spoken out against the development. The MP has said her opposition to the scheme is as strong as ever.

The site of a proposed Amazon warehouse in Scholes, near CleckheatonThe site of a proposed Amazon warehouse in Scholes, near Cleckheaton
The site of a proposed Amazon warehouse in Scholes, near Cleckheaton

Kim Leadbeater said she was convinced that surrounding roads would become even more clogged than they are already. Local residents in Scholes fear that as well as seeing vastly increased amounts of traffic, putting pedestrians in danger, they will be subjected to unacceptable levels of noise, light, and air pollution.

Kim said: “My position on this proposal has not changed since I was first elected in July 2021. It is too big, too polluting, too damaging to the local environment and would impose intolerable pressure on an already overburdened road network without leading to the kind of sustainable economic development that the constituency needs.

“I agree with local people that roads around the site will be unable to cope with the amount of extra traffic – much of it HGVs – that will be generated. Junction 26 of the M62 is already over capacity. Pumping hundreds of extra lorries onto the route is simply not manageable.”

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Amazon is proposing a 24/7 operation in a residential area close to homes, schools, businesses, a golf course and a cemetery. The site is allocated for economic use, but is much larger than the area approved in the Local Plan for the area.

Kim said: “I will be urging the committee to refuse the plans. If approved they would do substantial and irreversible damage to the area.”

With the planning meeting on the horizon, SOS has also spoken out. The group has scrutinised the supporting documents uploaded by the applicant and says there are: “glaring inaccuracies, unanswered questions and incomplete or missing reports.”

Over the years, the group has highlighted a number of points of opposition and raised £16,000 through crowdfunding to obtain reports and representation to hold the applicant and council to account.

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In January, the group claimed the warehouse would be “the single largest source of light pollution in Kirklees” when drawing upon the findings of an independent lighting report they had commissioned.

Prior to this, concerns were raised over the sharp traffic increase and movement of HGVs past a primary school on Whitechapel road posing a threat to the safety of children.

Other logistical points have been brought to the fore with drivers allocated a one hour slot to access the warehouse site. Should they miss this, drivers will have to book another slot forcing them to find parking until this becomes available. This could leave drivers without access to toilet facilities.