Industrial estate expansion plans spark traffic fears

Plans to expand a North Yorkshire industrial estate have sparked concerns from residents of a nearby village.

The latest proposal to extend Dalton Industrial Estate, near Thirsk, would exceed boundaries agreed two years ago.

People living in Topcliffe said they feared further expansions could increase the number of lorry drivers flouting the ban on 7.5-tonne vehicles passing through the village to access the business park.

However, planning documents said the impact on travel would be "negligible".

Concerns were raised after developers submitted an application to North Yorkshire Council for the creation of more than 279,860 sq ft (26,000 sq m) of "flexible employment space".

This expansion would complete the Greenbox project at Dalton 49 logistics park.

Outline permission was granted in 2021 and 2023 for much of the proposed development site, but the latest scheme is beyond the scope of both planning consents, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

Papers submitted to the council stated there was currently an "incredibly high" market demand for larger buildings, particularly with firms that use robotics and automation.

'Deviating from plan'

In terms of lorries accessing the site, the documents stated the traffic had already been “considered and judged acceptable".

They stated: “The uplift will result in only two additional arrivals and one additional departure during the morning peak, with one additional arrival and two additional departures at the evening peak.”

But local residents, including those living on a nearby caravan site, said any additional HGV traffic in Topcliffe would be "unacceptable".

As part of the agreement for Dalton 49, the developers were asked to pay £50,000 towards signage warning large vehicles not to enter Topcliffe.

They also funded number plate recognition cameras.

Topcliffe Parish Council chairman Jamie Moores said the plans were "not what we were led to believe".

“Everyone is saying the same thing. We are concerned this is deviating from the plan that was agreed two years ago," he added.

Mr Moores said he would be writing to planners as an individual to express his concerns.

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