Proposals to build a new business Park at the former Daw Mill Colliery site have raised concerns in the villages nearby.
Haworth Estates, which owns the 46 hectare site, has applied for planning permission to redevelop 31 hectares of the site for industry, storage and distribution. There will be an open storage area together with car parking and importantly, there is a railhead.
Mike O’Brien said, “This site is not like Hams Hall or Birch Coppice where I supported business parks. The problem with Daw Mill is that it is located on the B4098 Tamworth Road, which is unsuitable for HGV container lorries. The traffic would have to go through villages, along narrow roads and negotiate difficult junctions.
“It looks like Haworth Estates propose to use the rail access to bring things in. The proposal includes a large area of “open storage” which suggests that containers may be used. This looks to me like a potential intermodal freight container terminal.
“People realise there will be some development on the site, but the problem would be granting consent that allowed HGV container lorries to be run out of the site.”
The application by Haworth Estates identifies the routes out of the site. These include south through Fillongley village with the narrow road in the centre of the village; north to the Kingsbury Island negotiating the railway bridge with restricted height near the island and along the Coleshill Road into Atherstone; but the most likely route is to the Furnace End cross roads, then down the B4114, around the sharp corner at the Griffin Inn, through the winding roads after Shustoke and then having to get across the busy cross roads at the Green Man Pub in Coleshill.
“The lorries would rattle the foundations of the old pub.” Mike says. “Anyone who knows this area like I do, knows that large container lorries using these routes would be a recipe for mayhem on local roads. It affects not just the old site that will be affected but villages and towns for miles around.
“The colliery could have up to 10 trains a day. Haworth Estates have not said they propose anything like that, but these things sometimes lead to creeping applications. They get permission for one thing then seek to expand the site. 10 trains with 10 containers each could mean 100 containers a day with 200 HGV movements along unsuitable roads.
“I ask the borough council to treat this planning application with a massive degree of caution and scrutiny. The site is clearly unsuitable for containers. Local people need guarantees that HGV containers will not be used.”
There will be a meeting of residents in August to discuss the application where Mike will speak.