The four-floor facility will be created on land to the rear of Lancaster House on Centurion Way, close to the online retailer’s huge distribution centre which opened on the Lancashire Business Park in 2015.
South Ribble Borough Council’s planning committee gave the green light to the 50-feet high structure to store the firm’s fleet after being told that the company planned to power all of its vehicles with renewable energy by 2030 – generating an estimated 60 percent reduction in carbon emissions over the life cycle of a van when compared to diesel operation.
Members also heard that drivers would no longer travel to and from work in the company’s vehicles – which would be left on charge in the car park – and so would instead be encouraged to use sustainable modes of transport for their commute.
Serena Page, the agent for the application, said that the proposal chimed with the authority’s intention to become carbon-neutral in its own operations within the next ten years – and would lead to the “consolidation, rather than intensification” of the site.
She added: “The height of the proposed structure has been designed to be in-keeping with Lancashire Business Park. The southern [aspect] of the deck is proposed to be clad in shades of grey and blue – and the colours will break up across the facade to create a more interesting elevation from the south, where it will be visible to residents.”
However, four objections to the plans were submitted by locals, concerned over a loss of privacy and the likelihood of noise and disturbance caused by the development.
Farington East ward councillor Jacky Alty described the unclad sides of the car park as being akin to a “brutalist construct”.
She also called for a decision on the application to be deferred until consideration could be given to additional conditions to mitigate the impact of the plans – including an order for vehicles enter and leave via the road through the business park to avoid houses in the area.
However, the proposal won broad support amongst the committee, with Cllr Mary Green declaring that South Ribble was “fortunate” to have the company operating in the borough.
Ms. Page committed to work with Cllr Alty to address her concerns – and the application was unanimously approved.
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