Site is most suitable

IN response to E Wattingham’s letter in last week’s Express, I am sure I can allay their concerns in respect of both works and freight traffic that will ultimately access the proposed development, which lies off Aberford Road and Newmarket Lane.

The first thing to point out is the excellent logistical location of this site for a warehousing and distribution development. The site access is effectively just a few hundred yards from junction 30 of the M62, via a proposed new signal-controlled junction on Aberford Road into a new access road, bypassing the existing Newmarket Lane and re-joining it beyond the proposed development.

The site being in such proximity of junction 30 means it is highly unlikely the overwhelming majority of traffic, other than if locally generated, would access the site other than directly from the most convenient point, the motorway junction. In respect of construction traffic, then it is normal that a planning condition be placed on larger developments, such as this one (at reserved matters planning stage) both specifying designated and prohibited access routes to and from the site during construction.

We would be confident that Wakefield MDC planning officers would indeed place restrictions on construction traffic using anything other than A class truck roads to reach the site, effectively protecting all the smaller roads and major residential areas that surround the site for many miles.

As a residents’ group in support of the Newmarket development, we are continuing to work with the planners and the developer, and we will ensure that E Wattingham’s concerns are made known and given due consideration. Equally, this goes for any other concerns or questions that local residents might have as the development progresses, and we are happy for people to contact us on and we will raise them on their behalf directly with the most relevant parties.

I would also like to responds to Mr Copeland’s letter. While his position and feelings on this matter are very understandable, I think that to say his property (and his near neighbours’ properties) on Newmarket Lane will be rendered worthless by the proposed development is simply untrue and does not have any factual foundation.

This development is probably one of the most sympathetic and well-planned developments of its kind that I have personally seen during my 20 years as a professional in the construction industry. The construction of a new access road from Aberford Road through the site, re-joining Newmarket Lane beyond the proposed development, means that the existing residential properties on Newmarket Lane will be effectively now on isolated stretches of road that will only be used by the residents themselves, or their visitors.

The additional landscaping proposals, to enhance the existing retained mature tree cover adjacent their properties, will additionally serve to isolate them from the development as much as possible, while hopefully retaining their character and privacy.

Once the new road is constructed and completed at the first stage of the development, not only will construction traffic use this road, all traffic will use the road and I think it is quite possible that, in many cases, residents might actually see a longer-term improvement in their residential amenity. My experience would be that often residents close to proposed new larger developments fear the worst, but the reality is that the majority of these fears are never realised.

All that said, there is a reason the planning system designates the objections Mr Copeland raises as ‘non-material’ for determining this and the success of any planning application. If it was a valid to object to something simply because you didn’t want it near you, then nothing would ever get built!

In the case of this proposed development, the selection of this predominantly former colliery site has been subject to two separate public inquiries, and the conclusion of both independent inspectors is that this site is indeed the most suitable in the district for this development.

This development will bring investment, growth, jobs and first-class community sporting facilities that will benefit the whole district, and not just supporters of the Wakefield Trinity Wildcats, in these difficult economic times.

Jonathan Stone

chairman, Residents For Newmarket

Church Road