PLANNING chiefs at Warrington have agreed to amend existing warehousing proposals at the Omega South development site – despite objections from nearby residents.
The amendments will enable Gousto, a firm supplying home-cooked meals in boxes, to set up a manufacturing facility employing 1,700 full and part-time staff working in shifts around the clock.
Residents had objected because of fears of increased congestion at Junction 8 on the M62 and that Kingswood Road and Burtonwood Road would be unable to cope with the increased traffic.
They also believed there would be increased light, noise and air pollution.
Warehousing development was carried out some time ago when the end-user of the buildings was not known. At that time a purely storage use was envisaged.
But now a rapidly expanding firm supplying fresh, home-cooked meals wants to move in – requiring a number of amendments to the approved plans including increasing the number of parking spaces from 289 to 428.
The company has two existing manufacturing facilities elsewhere in the country, producing 120,000 food boxes each a week. The Omega facility will be capable of scaling up to 240,000 boxes a week and will be their main distribution centre.
Warrington Borough Council planning officers recommended the application be approved. They say the additional parking provision is acceptable given the more technically advanced and labour-intensive use of the site now proposed as part of a £40 million investment.
They say the proposals will not prejudice the quality of the originally approved development.