PLANS for a huge new warehouse at Chain Bar are set to be submitted – with Amazon rumoured to be the firm moving into the site.
The proposals have been drawn up by Bristol-based ISG Retail Ltd, and if approved would see a huge warehouse built which would be used as a storage and distribution facility.
It’s claimed the 23 metre tall, 317 metre long and 178 metre wide building would enable the creation of 1,500 jobs.
However, many local residents have hit out at the plans and the proposed loss of green space in the area, with many believing Amazon are the firm set to operate there.
Amazon refused to comment on whether it was behind the plans for the warehouse.
The land on which the proposed warehouse could be built lies between Whitehall Road, Whitechapel Road and the M62, in between Junction 26 for the M62 and M606, the town of Cleckheaton and the village of Scholes.
HGVs and lorries would access the site from Whitehall Road, with cars, vans, motorbikes and bicycles gaining entry via Whitechapel Road.
A bus interchange is also included in the plans, along with hundreds of parking spaces for HGVS and cars around the mega-warehouse, which would have 695,000 sq ft of floor space on the ground floor, and with an additional three and a half upper floors, a total floor space of almost 2.9 million sq ft.
The site is currently fields, and is flanked by Cleckheaton New Cemetery and Beardsworths Nursery and Garden Centre to the west, while also overlooking Cleckheaton Golf Club.
%image(‘12596087’, type=”article-full”, alt=”What the huge 2.9m sq ft warehouse could look like”)
Part of the Spen Valley Heritage Trail would have to be realigned due to the plans, around the north side of the site.
In the proposals, it says the site is allocated as a future employment area in Kirklees’ Local Plan, which includes storage and distribution, and a full planning application is set to be submitted to Kirklees Council in June.
ISG Retail claims the site would create 1,500 new jobs in fields including IT, engineering, robotics, management, catering, warehouse workers and security, while 800 jobs would be created by the construction and fit-out of the site.
ISG Retail is currently undertaking a public consultation, with 7,000 residents receiving a leaflet with details of the plans and how to share their views before the deadline of May 23.
A webinar is also being held at 6pm on May 19 for residents to submit their questions about the plans and learn more about the application, which residents can register for online.
Neighbours Beardsworths Nurseries said on Facebook the plan is a “proposed Amazon warehouse” and called the warehouse “an offence to all things natural and aesthetic”.
They said a Northern Gas Networks pipeline runs directly under the site and the firm has an “iron-clad easement on the site” which they believe would block plans for the warehouse.
A residents group called Scholes Action Group has already been set up to try and formulate plans to block the development.
One resident said she was “gutted” at the plans as she “loved the semi-rural feel” of the area, which would be lost with the construction of a warehouse.
Others have also raised concerns over traffic, congestion and pollution issues, cast scepticism over the number of jobs quoted by planners, and the impact it could have on wildlife.
However, some welcomed the plans for further investment in the area and creation of new jobs.
When asked if it was behind the plans for the new storage and distribution facility, Amazon declined to comment.