Rumoured new Amazon site in Havant bidding for change in traffic rules

OCCUPIERS of the former Pfizer site in Havant - rumoured to be Amazon - are bidding for further change to rules that control how traffic is monitored.

By Toby Paine
Thursday, 27th January 2022, 7:49 am

In next Thursday’s planning committee, Havant Borough Council (HBC) will decide on whether to grant changes to planning rules that were approved in September.

The site on 32 New Lane is set to become a ‘last-mile’ storage and distribution centre where parcels will be delivered via small vans across Hampshire and West Sussex.

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An aerial view of Havant, showing the former Pfizer site in New Road. Picture by CJB Photography

The original rules stated that traffic counters should continuously feed vehicle movement data into Hampshire County Council’s (HCC) permanent traffic count database.

Another rule stated that delivery vehicles should be clearly identifiable with branding to avoid ‘rat-runs’ in residential areas.

If the proposed changes are approved, traffic monitoring data will go to an independent traffic survey company for the first five-and-a-half years of the site’s operation. The company will release quarterly reports to local authorities detailing traffic movements.

Instead of using branded delivery vans the site will use CCTV, staff training and signs to direct traffic away from residential areas.

Bob Comlay, from the Havant Civic Society, opposes the plans.

‘Traffic count data at the three gates should be sent directly to the HCC traffic database - that doesn’t require much in the way of cost,' he said.

‘It means that HCC and HBC have got access to the data should there be an issue and they think there should be a report.

‘HCC and HBC have absolutely no control over that data, if they want to find out what’s going on because there’s an issue they’ll have to request that data - I personally have little faith that the data will be directly available in raw form.

‘I’ll be very surprised if the regular reporting showed up a problem for very obvious reasons - Amazon wouldn't want it to.

‘I think the problem will grow over time as Amazon ramps up the operation.

‘We all know we’re moving towards same-day delivery everywhere, they’re moving towards fresh produce delivery.

‘It’s not commercially viable with those conditions on it because Amazon can’t live within those conditions.’

A spokesperson from Fellows Planning, the application agent said: ‘The independent traffic survey specialist will be providing this analysis to both Havant Borough Council and Hampshire County Council to ensure the site is operating in line with the planning permission granted.

‘For commercial reasons we are not able to share this information with third-party organisations or services. This approach has been discussed at length with both councils.

‘We will be using a reputable traffic survey specialist company which has conducted surveys previously approved by the Department for Transport, Hampshire County Council and National Highways.

‘The final appointment will be made subject to an appointment process that is yet to complete. Traffic data specialists Advanced Transport Research have been involved in the proposed monitoring system to date.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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