More worries over hub expansion around Magna Park

Alberto Costa MP with Katherine Dootson site manager and Guy Millard Managing Director during the visit at Semelab in Lutterworth.'PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER
Alberto Costa MP with Katherine Dootson site manager and Guy Millard Managing Director during the visit at Semelab in Lutterworth.'PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

A Lutterworth firm has joined the protests against a new town business park which would effectively be an expansion of the huge distribution hub round Magna Park.

Guy Millard, MD of Semelab, which employs almost 160 people in an HQ off the A4303, says he is concerned about the proposed construction of Symmetry Park by Barwood Developments on a 69-acre site south-east of Magna Park.

He said vibrations and dust, particularly in the construction phase of the site, could affect his own business, which makes sensitive components for the aerospace industry.

He said he also had safety concerns about the large amount of extra traffic that Symmetry Park would attract.

“There’s a potential impact on us from the construction and operation of Symmetry Park, which would be very close to our property” said Mr Millard.

This week South Leicestershire MP Alberto Costa visited Semelab to inspect the factory and hear about Mr Millard’s concerns.

Mr Costa has already said that an expansion of Magna Park would not, on balance, be good for the Lutterworth area.

In a letter to Harborough District Council planners, Mr Costa wrote: “It is my considered view that the applications do not appear to impact positively in my constituency”.

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. During the visit to Semelab, Mr Costa discussed the company’s future plans, met staff involved in local community projects and inspected the factory, which builds high quality semiconductor devices for commercial aircraft and satellite systems.

He also discussed concerns about the proposed development of Symmetry Park with Guy Millard, Semelab’s Managing Director and Katherine Dootson, site leader.

Mr Costa said: “I have seen for myself that Semelab has an extremely skilled workforce and plays an important role in the local community. The people on this site are making a significant contribution to the UK’s aerospace industry and should be congratulated.”

He added: “Any proposed development must take into account the views of those living in the area and the needs of local companies.”

Mr Millard said “It has been a pleasure to welcome Alberto Costa to our factory. Our team were proud to show Mr Costa our manufacturing facility and to explain the work we are doing with local schools in Lutterworth and North Kilworth.”