I was surprised at the letter (Gazette, July 31st) from Liberal Democrat town councillor Nick Watts and his seemingly blasé, uninformed and uncaring attitude with regard to the 750,000 sq ft proposed business development by Range off West Cepen Way, Chippenham.
Blasé? Because he assumes that the town council is likely to be “favourably disposed” towards planning approval before there is even a planning application to discuss.
He may well have discussed it hypothetically at Chippenham Vision.
As Wiltshire and Town Councillor for Cepen Park North I can assure him the anger, dismay and fear of people directly affected by the scheme is very great and I certainly do not share his view. (He, of course lives tucked away in Monkton Park.) In the past week, I have been inundated with demands from residents who oppose this scheme. I know there are groups already formed in both Cepen Park North and Allington Village, which will be badly affected as well, to fight the plan.
Uninformed. Because he refers merely to a distribution centre dealing with simply warehousing and onward distribution of goods which will not affect Chippenham town centre but it will affect Chippenham as Cepen Park North is in Chippenham.
Part of the site also includes a Retail Outlet. Where does he think a large percentage of the so-called 1,000 jobs will be? There is to be parking at the warehouse section for 600 cars and at the retail part for 254. What will all those vehicles do for traffic congestion in the area?
Uncaring. Because he seems to have little concern about the impact that such a massive development will have upon people living across the road in Cepen Park North and those in Allington Village. And what about the huge pantechnicon lorries rumbling in and out of the site for 24 hours a day seven days a week? Has he considered the noise, pollution and disruption that will undoubtedly be the result?
An article in the Gazette pointed out the proposed development will be just slightly smaller than the huge Morrisons depot near Bridgwater off the M5 which is said to be the West's largest single building.
If Cllr Watts, or any other councillor for that matter, is unaware of that particular monstrosity (built, incidentally well away from housing) I suggest he takes the trouble to go and have a look. It might make him a little more understanding and sympathetic towards what horrors await residents he does not directly represent but whose views he should still take into consideration.
Coun Nina Phillips, Wiltshire & Chippenham Town Councillor, Cepen Park North & Redlands Division.