Enderby Hub Development concerns

Residents of Enderby are raising red flags over the proposed Enderby Hub development, with an independent audit shedding light on a multitude of concerns.

An exhaustive 80-page report, compiled by a local resident, delves into various aspects of the proposal, highlighting discrepancies, outdated data, and potential risks associated with the project.

Here’s a breakdown of the key findings as noted within the report:

A Glut of Warehouses: A Question of Need

The resident’s investigation reveals a saturated market for industrial space within a 20km radius of the proposed site. Their comprehensive search identified over 60 vacant units with a combined floor space exceeding a staggering 839,363 square meters. This abundance of existing industrial infrastructure raises a critical question: is the “Enderby Hub” truly necessary?

Furthermore, established logistics centres like Magna Park, boasting the title of Europe’s largest logistics location, and the “Golden Triangle,” another major logistics hub, grapple with significant vacancy rates. These existing facilities, with their underutilized capacity, cast further doubt on the necessity of constructing a new warehouse complex in Enderby.

Air Quality and Public Health: A Looming Threat

The resident notes the developer has failed to provide any air analysis data in the first application.

In the second application, air quality data measured in 2021 present an outdated interpretation and fails to account for local developments including the 168m Fosse Park extension, the Beer Hall, Everards Meadows, and Tim Hortons at Grove Triangle ‘with first-ever Leicestershire drive-thru’. These developments have likely contributed to increased traffic congestion and, consequently, a rise in air pollution levels.

Just a year later in 2022, a report by the Department of Transport showed an 18% increase in traffic 0.4 miles from the proposed site, which is not accounted for in the application. The resident expresses anxiety about potential breaches of legal air pollution limits in the local area due to increased traffic congestion, potentially jeopardizing the health of residents.

Citing the UK Chief Medical Officer’s Annual Report 2022 on Air Pollution, the resident highlights the severe health consequences associated with poor air quality. The report emphasizes the link between air pollution and a multitude of health issues, including lung development problems in children, heart disease, stroke, and cancer.

Noise Pollution: Disrupting the Peace

The resident notes the developer has failed to provide noise analysis data in the first application.

In the second application, noise pollution data measured in 2016 presents an outdated interpretation and fails to account for the impact of recent developments in the area, such as the 168m Fosse Park extension, the Beer Hall, Everards Meadows, and Tim Hortons at Grove Triangle ‘with first-ever Leicestershire drive-thru’ which likely contribute to the existing noise levels.

An independent audiologist mirrors these concerns by stating ‘the increased traffic will create noise for the local community – a hazard not outlined or indeed considered in the mitigation report’ and states ‘there is a concern about the adverse noise affecting hearing long term’.

The resident expresses concern about the increased noise associated with the development, which could disrupt the peace and quiet of the village and negatively impact the quality of life for residents. By relying on outdated and limited noise data, the applicant fails to provide a clear picture of the potential noise pollution and therefore insubstantial mitigation.

Traffic Congestion and Emissions: Choking the Roads and the Air

The development plan allocates parking space for 1,164 vehicles. This suggests that a significant number of gas-powered vehicles will be utilizing Enderby’s roads, leading to increased traffic congestion and, consequently, a rise in air pollution. Mitigation strategies focusing on sustainable transport only allows less than 7% of cycle spaces and less than 10% of electric vehicle spaces. That’s up to 921% more combustion engine vehicles pumping out emissions on Enderby’s roads. Additionally, the local Park and Ride service, with its limited operating hours is deemed inappropriate for a 24/7 distribution centre.

Emergency Response Times: A Matter of Seconds

Information from Leicestershire Fire and Rescue raises concerns about potential delays in emergency response times. Data obtained from Freedom of information requests suggest up to a 30% longer response times to industrial units compared to their surrounding villages. This trend suggests that the “Enderby Hub” development could further strain emergency services and potentially delay response times in critical situations.

The resident also idenfied a 17% increase in emergency response times after an industrial unit construction. As Enderby’s current response time is already 67 seconds longer than Leicester city’s non-life risk response time, the resident expresses concern that the additional development could exacerbate this concern, potentially putting the safety and well-being of residents at risk.

Impact on Wildlife: A Threat to Local Biodiversity

This site is home to and supports an abundance of Wildlife including but not limited to: foxes, rabbits, badgers (protected species), hedgehogs (red list species), bats (protected species), moles (red list species), buzzards, red kites, Kestrels, pied wagtails, starling, geese, owls, swans, dunnocks, lapwings, green woodpeckers, dragonfly, cinnabar moths and stag beetles, which raises ethical concerns regarding this project.

The resident raises serious concerns about the potential impact of the development on local wildlife, particularly badgers and bats. Evidence, including badger footprints found on-site in January 2024 and resident sightings, confirms the presence of badger setts on and near the proposed site. Badgers and their setts are protected under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992. Disrupting or destroying badger setts is a criminal offense. The resident highlights the inadequate mitigation plans to protect these protected animals which already live on site.

The Woodland Trust highlights that bats may not be fully active until mid-May, suggesting the Biodiversity Net Gains report performed in March 2023 may have missed crucial data. Additionally, while appendices mention the presence of bats, the applicant has not confirmed or denied their existence on the site.

The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2019 prohibits activities that disturb or damage bat populations or their roosts. The applicant’s lack of acknowledgement of the potential presence of bats and the absence of mitigation plans raises concerns about the project’s potential violation of these regulations.