West Hall Hill – Newmarket Site
Cold Store Construction
Construction commenced on this immense project in May 2014 and the builders claim it is on schedule and will commence with the introduction of cold on 1st April 2015. Their web site update advises that the site will employ 150 staff and will operate on a 24 hour basis.
The proposed site between Methley and Stanley was the subject of a brave and organised fight by the local residents who were overcome after Wakefield Planning Dept referred the matter to the Communities Department under Eric Pickles, MP. This was a dual application for the placement of a modern sports complex on behalf of Wakefield Wildcats RLFC along with associated warehousing based around the junction 30 of the M62.
The Yorkshire Evening Post in September 2013 reported that Leeds councillors had criticised the ill thought-out and unsuitable wider plans, which they feared would harm the green belt between the cities. David Nagle (Lab, Rothwell), said he would like to support any scheme bringing jobs to the area but he shared residents concerns about the impact on the green belt and traffic. He claimed the green belt is under constant threat and must be protected. No scheme, in his opinion, should go ahead over the legitimate objections of local residents, who are very concerned about the green belt and traffic.
Objections included approval of the height of the cold store at 42metres which is 138 feet considerably higher than any nearby construction and well above the height of the upper tree line. The site is unmissable from as far away as Normanton Town Hall and the distant Kings Croft Hotel at Pontefract.
We since learn that the proposed objective of Wakefield Wildcats to re-locate to this site is not now going to take place. The cynical among us may be excused for thinking that the rugby proposal was a contrivance in order to shoehorn the bigger warehouse proposal through.
Well, it’s August 2017 and the construction is being further developed after only three years. It is astounding that the original application should take such a long drawn out process requiring approval by the Communities Department in London and the current visible extensions it would appear, are in the course of construction without so much attention. Once again the cynical amongst us are left to wonder if this enlarged state would have have received central approval had it been put together at that time!
I can’t wait to observe information of section 106 awarding – I’m sure there must have been one.
For that matter I would be keen to learn of incidences of generous collaboration with the local community as occurred with the previous site users.
One hundred and fifty employees – well that can’t be bad. Covering three shifts that’s fifty men per shift for the primary installation! I guess this latest expansion could attract more workmen and women. I’m sure the local councillors would be pleased to learn of these advancements.