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Residents 'concerned' over Omega plans
8:00am Wednesday 20th February 2013 in News
DISGRUNTLED residents have been voicing their concerns over plans for one of the biggest distribution centres in the country on Omega South.
Proposals for one of the developments on the former RAF Burtonwood land were revealed at public consultations last week and includes a 40m high warehouse.
The centre will operate 24 hours a day in three shift patterns with lorries and other traffic using junction eight of the m62.
Clr Kevin Reynolds said he has concerns about the volume of traffic in the area and the jobs created fall short of what had been promised.
He added: “I think it could be catastrophic for the area.
“It’s fully automated so alot of jobs are going to be minimum wage rather than high specification jobs and there are less being created than had been initially promised for the site.
“My concern and several others is also the traffic as there are problems already around nearby motorway junctions and how many more HGV movements will it be bringing?”
Jim Gardner, who was heavily involved in the Warrington Residents Against Prison Proposals campaign opposing the suggestion of a large prison on Omega, added he thought the developer was going for ‘short-term gain’ rather than long-term development.
The Whittle Hall resident added: “I am for development at Omega South but the right sort of development that brings great paying jobs for our children to create a sustainable community where people stay to raise families of their own as they have the jobs here to support them.
“Warehousing on this scale will not achieve this aim.”
An Omega spokesman said: “The vision for Omega remains the same, to provide a key employment location in Warrington to attract investment and create jobs. “The £100 million investment in the distribution facility will generate hundreds of jobs in management, administration, software, warehouse operation, maintenance, catering and driving roles, as well as in excess of 1,000 jobs during construction.
“Road traffic will be via a purpose built new dedicated road through the site direct to Junction 8. This road, which is being funded by the distribution centre, will also be the main access to the land already permitted for offices, greatly assisting Omega Warrington Ltd to attract office occupiers.
“Overall, phases 1 and 2 already have planning permission for 1.5m sq ft of offices on Omega South and 1.6m sq ft of distribution/logistics warehouses on Omega North and this application is in addition to this. “A number of further occupier announcements are imminent for Omega North, involving around 1,500 new jobs, and an employment-led, mixed use masterplan is currently being finalised for the remainder of Omega South all of which represent successful milestones for this important development.”