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Wren Kitchens' fresh plan for 24/7 lorry park at Start Hill near M11 junction 8 roundabout



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Residents opposed to a proposed 24/7 distribution depot for Wren Kitchens at Start Hill have been given more time by the local planning authority to comment on the application.

A revised scheme has returned to the table after the original plan was turned down by Uttlesford District Council last year.

The April 28 deadline for comments, although still showing on UDC's website, has been extended to June 10 to give people longer to consider landowner FKY Ltd's scheme to transform the 12.7-acre (5.12-hectare) field and woodland area into a lorry park.

Layout plan for the site (56548237)
Layout plan for the site (56548237)

National chain Wren Kitchens currently leases a site at Stansted Airport, but this is due to expire in 2023.

Residents living close to the parcel of land, sandwiched between the M11 junction 8 roundabout and Tilekiln Green Road at Great Hallingbury, claim the open logistics facility, where HGVs would deposit storage containers for distribution, would devastate the area and increase traffic problems.

They have formed Great Hallingbury Neighbours' Association to fight the proposals and urged people to take note of the extended deadline and to submit fresh comments for the new application.

Photo of the site entrance taken towards the M11 junction, with the Esso petrol station on the right (56548234)
Photo of the site entrance taken towards the M11 junction, with the Esso petrol station on the right (56548234)

Resident Val Waring said: "In essence, the main messages we need to get out to people are as follows: If you want to object you have until June 10 to do so; even if you objected last time (application March 2022) you need to object again, any objections raised last time will not be carried over to this as it is a wholly new application.

"One objection per person, not one objection per household, and to hold any weight any objections must contain specific reasons. To simply say I don’t want it in my back garden is not a valid reason."

She added: "We really need to get the message across to people outside of the immediate village because it will have an impact on anyone using the B1256, A120 and M11 roundabout as well as the Hallingburys, Hatfield Heath, Hatfield Broad Oak and all the surrounding villages."

Concerns about the scheme centre on increased traffic on the M11 junction and neighbouring village roads; noise, light and air pollution; damage to wildlife and the fact that Great Hallingbury is a conservation area.

The field behind Cormac and Diane Conway's property is set to become a distribution centre for Wren Kitchens. Picture: Vikki Lince (56549921)
The field behind Cormac and Diane Conway's property is set to become a distribution centre for Wren Kitchens. Picture: Vikki Lince (56549921)

The application allows for parking for 80 lorries and 107 cars over about 4 acres (1.6ha), with 7.9 acres developed (3.2ha), with buildings towards the centre of the site to enable "a significant amount of landscaping around the perimeter".

In its planning statement, the applicant said: "In order to facilitate the movement of HGV vehicles, it is proposed to realign the northern part of Tilekiln Green and widen the B1256 to the south.

"This will improve vehicular access to the site to safely facilitate additional HGV movements and eliminate the existing highway safety issues associated with the local road network.

"A new access point will then subsequently be created onto the realigned Tilekiln Green to form the main access to the site."

Google Maps image of the Wren Kitchens site at Start Hill (56542911)
Google Maps image of the Wren Kitchens site at Start Hill (56542911)


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