Amazon Application Filing Event Gets Big Response
CONSULTANTS working with online retail giant Amazon met with locals to discuss the prospect of building a huge distribution center on farmland close to the M62 motorway at Scholes.
Dozens of people showed up to see the plans for the installation during a four-hour exhibition held at the Gomersal Park Hotel.
The Save Our Spen campaign group also had a table at the event.
An Amazon spokesperson said the company was “excited to have the opportunity to share information regarding the proposed fulfillment center,” and that more than 180 people attended.
Save Our Spen said they were “inundated with people wanting to know more about the campaign and the planning app”.
The controversial plans, which were made public a year ago, involve the creation of a huge center on fields sandwiched between the A58 Whitehall Road and the B6120 Whitechapel Road at Scholes near Cleckheaton.
The 59 acre site is close to Junction 26 of the M62 at Chain Bar. As planned, it would be a third of a mile long, 178m wide and 23m high and could create around 2,400 jobs, which Kirklees council planners say is “acceptable in principle”, even if it exceeds the development capacity described in the council’s local plan. .
They said the number of jobs – suggested last year at around 1,500, now around 900 more – would contribute to the council’s target of creating 23,000 jobs by 2031.
An Amazon spokesperson said last Wednesday’s visit “went very well” and “lots of questions” were asked.
They added, “We were delighted to have the opportunity to share information about the proposed fulfillment center and answer questions about working at Amazon with over 180 people from the local community. We were also delighted that Save Our Spen members were able to attend.
A spokesperson for Save Our Spen agreed that the event was ‘well attended’ and offered the group the opportunity to speak directly with the people who had produced reports on air, noise levels and light as well as traffic reports which they said were “based solely on desktop modeling”.
The spokesperson added: “It is safe to say that the public had very little interaction with Amazon representatives. However, we were inundated with people wanting to know more about the campaign and the planning app.
Save Our Spen conducted a mock poll which asked whether Kirklees Council should grant planning permission based on current plans. Of the 95 people who responded to the survey, all answered “no”.
Among those who visited the exhibition without an appointment was local councilor Kath Pinnock (Lib Dem, Cleckheaton), who opposes Amazon’s proposals.
She described the event as “fascinating” and said, “There were more people around the Save Our Spen table than the rest of the room. I don’t think Amazon had a good evening.”