Next warehouse site given own postcode to stop HGV drivers using South Elmsall town centre as a ‘rat run’

Next’s warehouse and distribution centre in South Elmsall has been given its own postcode to prevent lorry drivers using nearby town centres as ‘rat runs’ to access the sprawling site.

By Tony Gardner
Tuesday, 12th July 2022, 3:20 pm

The move was revealed as councillors discussed an application to build a fourth warehouse and create a further 400 new full-time jobs in the area.Wakefield Council’s planning and highways committee approved the plan despite hearing how some residents had concerns over traffic issues.

Steve Tulley, councillor for South Kirkby and South Elmsall ward, said there had been problems with lorry drivers using nearby town centres as ‘rat runs’ to get to the site.

Coun Tulley said he was not opposed to the application but urged for greater traffic safety measures to be imposed as there had been problems during previous construction work at the site.

South Elmsall

He said: “I think it is important that we address the issues of lorries getting to the site.

“It is a massive site. You can see it from outer space.”

Gary Robinson, regional estates manager for Next, said: “I think the points that Councillor Tulley raises are valid.

“The fact that the site did not have a postcode meant that a lot of drivers were cutting through South Elmsall.”

Next’s warehouse and distribution centre in South Elmsall has been given its own postcode to prevent lorry drivers using nearby town centres as ‘rat runs’ to access the sprawling site.

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Mr Robinson said having a postcode for the site would help drivers find the site more easily using satnav.

He added that the number of signs guiding drivers to the site had been increased.

Mr Robinson said the company had been liaising with contractors to ensure that drivers were accessing the site using main roads.

He added: “Since we applied to the Royal Mail for a post code it has become clearer to them where they are going, without going through the town centre.”

The committee approved the plan to build a warehouse and distribution centre on 32 hectares of greenbelt land off Field Lane.

The plan also includes building offices, internal roads and a bridge linking the warehouse to Next’s three other sites nearby.

It also includes the building of a gatehouse, solar panelling, parking areas and landscaping.

Hooton Pagnell Parish Council objected to the scheme, calling for a traffic management plan to be put in place during construction of the development.

The report stated that ‘special circumstances’ allowed for development to go ahead on greenbelt land due to the employment opportunities for local communities.