Magna Park expansion’s not a good idea says MP

The TNT building at Magna Park. (Picture: Andrew Carpenter/001067-6).
The TNT building at Magna Park. (Picture: Andrew Carpenter/001067-6).

The MP for South Leicestershire, Alberto Costa, says the big expansion planned for the Magna Park distribution hub near Lutterworth will not be good for the area.

The MP, writing to Harborough District Council planners, says: “It is my considered view that the applications do not appear to impact positively in my constituency”.

But he conceded that Magna Park expansion might be good for the country as a whole, and said the planning committee had a “difficult task” ahead.

Mr Costa said he had received a significant amount of correspondence from concerned local people from Lutterworth and surrounding villages about the expansion plans. Nearly all the individuals who have contacted him are against the expansion, he says.

He stresses that he has also spoken to the developers who are submitting the expansion applications - IDI Gazeley and Barwood Developments Ltd.

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.

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

But Mr Costa says Magna Park expansion could bring further traffic and light pollution problems to the area.

And he said a constituency that already benefits from one of the lowest unemployment rates in the UK does not urgently need the extra jobs the expansion would bring.

He concludes: “There is a school of thought that would suggest that another more suitable location closer to prospective employees might better suit the needs of our country.”

Maggie Pankhurst of the Ullesthorpe-based Village Action Against Magna Park Development said she welcomed Mr Costa’s comments and was “delighted he’s seeing the value of the objections”.

“This expansion would make Magna Park the biggest in the world” she said.

“The buildings - especially the vast DHL warehouse - will completely dwarf their surroundings and turn a rural setting into a business one.”

The group argues that the road infrastructure will not support the 9,000 extra jobs that could be created by an expanded Magna Park.

And they point out that the Lutterworth area does not need the extra jobs anyway.