Controversial plans for replacement car parking at a major industrial company in the borough’s green belt have been withdrawn following a torrent of objections.
The applications were put forward by Urenco which operates a civil nuclear site in Capenhurst.
The company told borough planners it was intending to remove parking from within the licensed nuclear area at the plant, in line with nuclear industry guidelines.
Three new car parks providing the same 700 spaces in total were proposed, one at Manorfield Close, Rectory Lane.
But the prospect sparked a series of objections to borough planners along with a petition and a Facebook campaign.
Objector Gary Powell recognised the need for the parking to ensure the ongoing prosperity of the Urenco site as a whole and job security now and in the future.
But he added: “What I strongly contest is the routing of the vehicular traffic entering and exiting the car parks.”
Mr Powell argued the route from Ledsham village ‘raises serious safety concerns’.
“In places Rectory Lane is barely wide enough for two standard size motor vehicles to pass safely.
“Coupled with 3m plus high hedges and notorious blind spots, this is a serious accident or fatality waiting to happen,” he insisted.
Immediate neighbour Gary Wright told planners: “I live directly next door to the proposed development and at present this is an historic residential area which is currently separated from the ever growing industrial company.
“This area of car park includes green belt agricultural land and is part of a very rural area.
“At present, I enjoy the view, the wildlife, the darkness, privacy and a quiet environment and this will be totally destroyed. “
Mr Wright raised a series of traffic concerns and added: “Industrial and commercial areas are well away from the village at present, but this proposed car park is showing an increase of the spread of these areas which would make Capenhurst feel and look like a part of Urenco.”
Capenhurst and Ledsham Parish Council said it was ‘very concerned about the brief time allowance given to consider the contents of the three extremely large files containing the applications’.
Councillors claimed ‘the impact on the local residents and the irrevocable change they will make to the nature of both villages has not been fully considered’.
A company spokesman said that due to the ‘considerable amount of investment’ allocated to the Capenhurst site, which would bring continued economic benefits and employment to the area, ‘a decision has been made to restrict all vehicle access to the site and align with the nuclear industry in the UK’.
The plans submitted to the borough council provided for three car parks to be constructed off site on land owned by Urenco which would replace like for like the number of vehicles currently parking on the site.
The replacement spaces would only service current needs.
He added: “One of the areas identified on Rectory Lane in Capenhurst currently has a number of old buildings which Urenco inherited and this was viewed as a potential location and planning was submitted.
“However having reviewed the access from Rectory Lane and after talking to the borough council about vehicle numbers and gaining their views on alternative locations on land that the company owns a decision was made to withdraw the application.
“Designs and plans will be drawn up for an alternative scheme over the forthcoming weeks in conjunction with Capenhurst parish councillors and resubmitted to CWAC.”
It is understood this will involve a two tier car park at the main entrance which would have no impact on the villages.
Plans for a 110-space care park for shift workers at the North Gate are to continue along with road improvement in that area.
The spokesman concluded: “With regards to Manorfield it is possible that some time in the future we will remove the dwellings that are there, but timings have yet to be discussed.”