Prologis Marston Gate Expansion Image: Prologis

Parish council asks residents to object to planning application

Ridgmont Parish Council held a special meeting (10 January 2019) at the village’s lower school to explain why it is objecting to the Prologis planning application for a warehouse and distribution centre along the A507 bypass.

Maria Spearing, chair of the parish council, told residents that the parish council also hoped that Central Bedfordshire Council (CBC) would not determine the application before the Local Plan examination has been completed.

Maria added that the planning inspector had already raised a number of issues with some of the Local Plan‘s strategic allocations, including Policy SE2, The Marston Gate Expansion.

Central Bedfordshire Council’s Local Plan is under examination

The Plan says that Policy SE2 will:

  • Provide up to 35 hectares of new employment land and 8ha of screening and landscaping
  • Deliver a mix of uses including B8 warehousing and distribution with associated B1 uses, A3 food and drink uses and a lorry park
  • Facilitate necessary mitigation and improvements to the A507 and M1, including M1 Junction 13, to ensure the site is well connected to the strategic transport network
  • Provide opportunities for sustainable transport links to be determined through a Transport Assessment

Objections raised at the meeting included:

  • 43ha has been allocated to B8 warehousing which will impact on the Greensand Ridge, footpaths and bridleways
  • M1 Junction 13 already struggles to cope with peak traffic
  • The landscape is historically important
  • The increased artificial light from the present Marston Gate is prejudicial to the health and well-being of residents

Prologis said that this development will create 2,000 additional jobs. However, residents at the meeting claimed that workers at the existing warehouses are bused in from outside of the area and that “the wages are so low, no one local could afford to work there”.

Robin Woodbridge, Prologis Head of Capital Deployment, said:

“We’ve owned and invested in Prologis Park Marston Gate for the past twenty years and have built long-standing relationships with the businesses and communities on and around the Park.

“For this reason, our proposal seeks to balance the increasing need for distribution warehouses and local employment, with our desire to be a good neighbour.”

Prologis said that it is committed to working with the community and its representatives to ensure the highest standards of management at and around Prologis Park Marston Gate, including measures to ensure HGVs use appropriate routes and to restrict HGVs.

The planning application can be viewed on CBC’s planning portal, the application reference is CB/18/04600/OUT

The Parish Council will be delivering guidance notes on how to object to every household in the village. The council can be contacted via email parishcouncilclerk@yahoo.com