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Green light for railhead at logistics depot

By Kerry Ashdown | Cannock | News | Published:

A logistics firm is set to be given the green light to build a railhead at its Cannock depot – despite residents’ concerns the development will lead to an increase in noise and pollution.

A Google Street View image of Pentalver seen from Pentalver Way Cannock

Planning permission was previously granted for a railhead at the Pentalver site more than a decade ago.

And a fresh application for a series of additions to the site, including a five line rail siding, was backed by Cannock Chase Council’s planning committee on Wednesday.

The existing depot is set to be converted to a multi-modal container handling facility and the site will be expanded onto the adjoining former Rumer Hill Industrial Estate. Trailer parking and car parking areas are also proposed, as well as a new two storey office building.

Nick Matthews from Pentalver, who spoke in support of the application at Wednesday’s meeting, said: “The scheme has been an ambition of ours for 15 years, to develop a railhead.

“It will allow Pentalver to contribute further to the development of a transport system, support the economic development of the area and ensure the Cannock depot remains competitive.The scheme will lead to the creation of 50 additional new jobs within the site.

“While I acknowledge there are concerns surrounding noise impact arising from the site you have to remember the site was granted planning permission as a container depot with a rail head as long ago as 2005. We have noise controls in place.”

Mr Matthews also spoke of a three metre high acoustic board around the proposed trailer parking area.

But concerns have been raised by Rumer Hill residents about the impact of the development on their lives.

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Stewart Charlesworth, who spoke against the application at Wednesday’s meeting, said he had experience of working with the trains set to be used at the site.

“These trains are noisy and polluting”, he said. “The mere nature of how they work is noisy; the engines are noisy and loading of the containers is noisy. Everything is metal on metal. There are no ways to move these trains quietly.

“On an industrial estate it would work but Rumer Hill is a residential estate. In the summer you can leave the windows open at night and get woken up by the noise.

“We want clean air and a good night’s sleep – that’s a basic need.”

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Committee member Councillor Zaphne Stretton said: “I’m really concerned for the residents that live in close proximity to the site. It’s a problem to them now – it’s going to be an even larger problem.”

But the committee voted in favour of approving the application, providing no new material issues are received before the publicity period ends on November 28.

Councillor Alan Pearson said: “We are talking about the residents, noise and fumes but this is already there. Business can’t cease because nobody wants business – business has got to go somewhere.”

Kerry Ashdown

By Kerry Ashdown
@KerryAshdownLDR

Local Democracy Reporter covering Staffordshire.

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