Appeal to hear about low paid jobs concern

Opponents fighting a proposal for warehousing in Alsager are expected to tell a planning inspector that the jobs it would attract are likely to be low paid and would not help “well educated children to say in Cheshire”.  
A planning appeal relating to BAE Systems’ application to build five warehouses within its Radway Green site will be held at Crewe Alexandra Football Club on Tuesday, 18th February.
The site is located in Cheshire East Council’s local plan for employment use.
The authority’s Strategic Planning Board rejected BAE’s proposal for the 19,236sqm development, off Crewe Road, at a meeting in November 2018.
Cheshire East received 248 letters of objection relating to concerns about the loss of green space, a lack of infrastructure in Alsager to support the site and an abundance of warehouses already available in nearby towns.
A Crewe Road Action Group member recently stated at an Alsager Town Council planning meeting that there was insufficient time for residents to consider the appealed application as it was submitted over the Christmas period.
Coun Derek Hough has been nominated to act as the town council representative at the hearing and his submission was due to have been approved at the town council’s next Planning, Environment and Community Committee meeting on Tuesday.
The local plan justification for the site states: “The incorporation of green infrastructure, notably trees and hedgerows, with sensitive design in terms of scale and massing of any new structures, has the potential to mitigate any potential adverse impacts on visual amenity from the main vantage points.
“This will also assist in enhancing the environment of the local area, and improving the health and wellbeing of the employees.”
However the decision notice for the current application, which has already been refused on two occasions, includes the following information: “That by reason of layout and massing it does not allow for sufficient space for landscaping to mitigate the adverse impact of the development or ensure a design solution which achieves a sense of place by protecting and enhancing the quality and character of Alsager.”
Coun Hough stated in his notes for the appeal hearing: “The applicants have not come up with any plans to materially change the situation.
“According to the internet warehousing jobs are generally low paid. This is not what is needed to attract our well educated children to stay in Cheshire.”
Alsager Town Council objected to the appeal on the grounds that the application goes against the Cheshire East Council design guide and it does not conform to the Cheshire East local plan which says that applications should be sympathetic to their local surroundings.
The council also objected due to the site being within the blast zone area of BAE Systems and that warehousing would be contrary to both Cheshire East Council and Alsager Town Council declaring a climate emergency as there would be little local employment and warehousing would result in large numbers of HGV movements.
The hearing for the appeal on 18th February will take place at 10am at Crewe Alexandra’s Carlsberg Lounge.