My continued opposition at Full Council to a Regional Freight Interchange for Park Farm & Stanground

During tonight’s full council meeting councillors were presented with the opportunity to adopt the Peterborough Site Allocations Plan Document which contains a policy identifying the area around Park Farm & Stanground known as Drysides for a Regional Freight Interchange. The document content is in my opinion extremely well researched and written in all other aspects but my response to council had to be as follows:

Mr Mayor. I rise to oppose the adoption of the Peterborough Site Allocations Development Plan Document.

Policy SA10 identifies the site for a Regional Freight Interchange that should it go ahead, will border a substantial area of my ward Stanground East.

Many of my councillor colleagues will be aware that prior to my election last year I chaired a protest group in Park Farm and Stanground with the support of our MP Shailesh Vara which opposed such a huge development on this area of land known as Drysides.

Many local residents are still very concerned and upset that such a development could even be considered so close to housing and a primary school and as such I know you’ll appreciate that it is my duty to represent their objections here in council.

Whilst I continue to be predisposed on this issue and welcome continued debate, I am at this time unable to support the document with this site allocation included. 

The reasons for my decision to vote against the document and not abstain area.

  • Peterborough has stated that it wants to encourage investment in advanced manufacturing, attract a skilled workforce, improve the skill base of the local population, transform the perception that Peterborough is a business rather than a warehouse/low paid location and be the market leader developing 20,000 new skilled jobs with 60% of these jobs being high end occupations (managers and senior officials).
  • I would suggest the majority of jobs in such a development will be lower paid warehouse operatives and that many of these operatives are unlikely to be locals.
  • Peterborough has stated that it is working towards Environment City Status and wants to be seen as the Environment Capital with Low Pollution Levels.
  • The noise and pollution that hundreds of HGV’s and the train sidings are likely to generate will be contrary to such status. Not to mention the light pollution that we have seen clear evidence of at another similar site.
  • Peterborough has stated that it wants to improve the quality of life for residents.
  • I fail to see how a 24/7 huge increase in noise, light and diesel exhaust pollution can possibly improve the quality of life of those people living in Stanground & Park Farm.
  • Peterborough has stated that it wants to improve air quality and reduce CO² by reducing transport pollution.
  • The diesel fumes from hundreds of HGV’s will undoubtedly cause a massive increase in pollution for the south of the city.
  • Peterborough has stated that it wants to Safeguard & Protect Valued Open Landscapes.
  • A Regional Freight Interchange will destroy all the views of Drysides, the Fens and of the Cathedral that we currently enjoy.
  • Peterborough has stated that it will deter building in flood-plain areas wherever possible to avoid the risk of flooding.
  • Drysides is a designated flood-plain and will become even more important for the protection of Stanground & Park Farm in the future as global warming and water levels increase.
Should a planning application be received in the future for such a development I will of course let you know soonest and be out to seek your latest views in order that I may continue to represent the majority’s wish for our ward. In the meantime if you have any comments please either email me or give me a call.