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Eddie Stobart £75m Warrington warehouse plans rejected

How the new Eddie Stobart warehouse facility could look Image copyright Eddie Stobart
Image caption Eddie Stobart predicted the facility would create around 480 full-time jobs

Plans to build a £75m Eddie Stobart warehouse on green belt land in Cheshire have been rejected.

The proposals for a new national distribution centre at Stretton Green Distribution Park in Warrington have been rejected by council planners.

Eddie Stobart predicted the plan could create about 480 jobs.

But councillor Judith Wheeler said the "shameful" proposals show the firm's "arrogance and utter contempt for the local community,".

Warrington Borough councillors had raised concerns over traffic, harm to the green belt and listed buildings, and a lack of pre-application discussions, the Local Democracy Reporter Service said.

Ms Wheeler said: "The economic benefit will be for Stobart only".

Image copyright bbc

Applicants Eddie Stobart and Liberty Properties had proposed building the facility opposite the firm's current headquarters, which the council has bought, on land north of Barleycastle Lane.

Members concluded the economic argument failed to outweigh harm to the green belt and that the application had been submitted prematurely.

The decision was met with applause from residents in the town hall chamber.

Phil McCann, BBC Cheshire Political Reporter

This massive distribution centre would be just the beginning for this corner of countryside in south Warrington.

In the early drafts of the council's new housing plan the green belt fields around Appleton would be turned into a so-called garden suburb of more than 7,000 homes.

Other parts of the open fields here have been earmarked for "employment use", which is the classification that Eddie Stobart's plans would have fallen under.

Eddie Stobart may yet submit altered plans or appeal to a government inspector, but this is far from the only battle that people in this corner of Cheshire will face over the coming months and years.

Chief executive Alex Laffey said the company was "committed to growing in Warrington", highlighting the £570m yearly turnover from its headquarters.

But councillor Ryan Bate said the application was "fatally flawed" and "simply does not fulfil the very special circumstances to justify releasing green belt."

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