Leaflets say ‘no’ to the growth of Magna Park

Lighting at TNT on Magna Park is causing problems for Ullesthorpe villagers. (Picture: Andrew Carpenter/001067-6).
Lighting at TNT on Magna Park is causing problems for Ullesthorpe villagers. (Picture: Andrew Carpenter/001067-6).

An action group has distributed four thousand leaflets round Lutterworth objecting to the proposed expansions of Magna Park.

The group - Villagers Against Any Magna Park Development (VAAMPD ) - say the distribution hub’s expansion would be a disaster for Lutterworth and the surrounding villages.

It is predicted that the planned expansion could bring up to 12,500 new jobs to the business park.

The action group say that would mean a huge increase in traffic including lorries, more air pollution, noise pollution and light pollution, more litter and more countryside obliterated by the park’s huge warehouses.

“These proposals would double the size of the existing Magna Park - and it’s already the biggest distribution park in Europe” said Graham Logan, of Cotesbach Action Group, which is one part of the anti-expansion protest group.

“We’ve got 1,000 objections to this expansion online already.

“We’re not NIMBYs, because we’ve got Magna Park in our backyards already. We just don’t think it should get any bigger.”

IDI Gazeley, the owners of the existing Magna Park, are looking for a 500-acre expansion to the north of the current site, including a huge DHL warehouse scheme which alone will cover 25 acres.

Barwood Developments are seeking to develop a separate 69-acre site called Symmetry Park, south-east of Magna Park.

Gwyn Stubbings, the planning director of IDI Gazeley has told the Mail there was still a “significant demand” for road-based distribution facilities.

“Magna Park has been established near Lutterworth since 1987, employing over 9,300 people and indirectly supporting local businesses” he said.

“We are an important part of the community and feel a real sense of responsibility to be a good neighbour whilst continuing to deliver the 
jobs and inward investment that the district and region need. The extension of an already highly successful Magna Park offers the opportunity for economies of scale that will deliver more facilities and benefits for local people including a Logistics Academy, public park, closer links with local businesses and a truck park.”

But South Leicestershire MP Alberto Costa has already said that an expansion of Magna Park would not, on balance, be good for the Lutterworth area.

And Mr Logan said an expanded distribution hub could actually be bad for local people’s health.

“Lutterworth already has some of the worst quality air in the whole of Leicestershire” he said.

“All this extra traffic can only make that worse. There’s a public health issue here.”

Mr Logan added that many protestors fear Harborough District Council will look favourably on the expansion plans, because more business means more cash for the hard-pressed council to spend.

“We’re worried that it’s just too tempting for them” Mr Logan said.