A decision on the 11,000 square metre warehouse at Oldlands Farm in Newlands Road, which will act as a ‘last mile’ distribution centre, was deferred last month by Arun District Council’s planning committee following traffic and flooding concerns.
But the plans were approved when they returned to committee on Wednesday (May 25).
Although the intended occupier has not been revealed, several planning documents available include ‘Amazon’ in the file name, suggesting the online retail giant is behind the plans.
Lysander and Hanbury Properties have secured permission for the facility close to the Rolls Royce warehouse and Lidl.
Plans show overnight parking for 512 vans at the site and 193 parking spaces.
A transport assessment shows an additional 58 cars, 168 light goods vehicles, and two heavy goods vehicles in the AM peak, with 79 cars and 168 LGVs in the evening peak.
This will ‘not have a severe impact’ on the road network according to the highways authority and the developer will contribute around £100,000 towards future traffic mitigation schemes.
According to a 2017 study, the Felpham Relief Road roundabout will need a ‘significant level of mitigation’ to alleviate the traffic impacts of new developments by 2031.
This left some members of the planning committee – including Green Isabel Thurston (Barnham) – unconvinced that enough had been done to prevent traffic problems.
Martin Lury (LDem, Bersted) said: “If you go and drive there about five o’clock in the evening, it tails back right into Rowan Way.
“So I do see it exacerbating what’s already a difficult situation.”
Jamie Brown, from West Sussex County Council, told the committee that ‘a lot of vehicle movements’ would be ‘outside of the network peak’, adding that queuing is expected on this part of the highway.
Ricky Bower (Con, East Preston) called on WSCC to ‘look further ahead’ when it comes to roundabout capacity.
At a previous meeting, Rory Spiller, an associate director at Vectos transport consultants, said: “Goods would typically arrive on HGVs during night-time hours, away from the network peaks, and would then be sorted within the building.
“Vans will be loaded for an entire day’s worth of deliveries, which means that they will not need to return to the site, or make multiple trips to and from the site in any one day. “
Mr Spiller said on site parking could allow for an electric fleet in future.
At the same meeting, Serena Page, a partner at DWD planning consultants, said the warehouse would bring ‘a significant number of local jobs’.
“The industrial and logistics sector accounts for 14 per cent of the English economy and the number of jobs in the sector has grown by 26 per cent in the last ten years,” she said.
“The development will generate a significant number of local jobs, both during the construction and operational phases.”
More details can be found at the planning portal using reference: AL/87/21/PL