Earlier this year The Range, in partnership with First Chippenham, announced plans to submit a planning application for a new Regional Distribution Centre (RDC) and The Range retail store to the north of the A350 in Chippenham.
As part of the planning process, we held a public exhibition in July to display our draft plans. Thank you to everyone who gave their time to view and comment on the draft proposals.
Many people provided feedback on the proposed layout of the site at the July exhibition. We have listened and taken those comments on board. Our proposed layout takes account of the operational needs of the RDC and the surrounding landscape.
Modern distribution buildings need to have a single floorplate and service yards along two sides to function effectively. This has restricted the design options for the site. Our proposed design places the larger distribution centre building to the rear of the site with The Range store fronting onto the A350.
This design has a number of advantages:
- it places the RDC back from the Cepen Park North area
- it takes advantage of the topography of the site
- The Range store will screen part of the southern service yard
- it accommodates the occupational requirement of the RDC
The refinements we have made
Since July we have made a number of changes to the design of the development. We have:
- changed the colour of the proposed RDC and The Range store
- made a number of design improvements to The Range store
- added additional planting around the perimeter of the site
- reorganised the car park area to retain existing mature trees on the north-eastern boundary
- relocated the SUDS pond to create a feature at the site entrance
- added mounding to the site perimeter to help screen the site
- Included a 3-metre high acoustic barrier along the southern service yard boundary to the distribution centre to reduce noise as much as possible
During the July consultation, we received several comments querying the impact of the development on Chippenham’s existing road infrastructure.
The Range commissioned an expert traffic consultant to measure and model the traffic flows arising from the development. As part of this process a number of traffic surveys and assessments were conducted following consultation with Wiltshire Council and the Highways Agency.
HGV trips into and out of the development
On average, we expect the RDC will generate around 125 HGV loads per day.
The vast majority of these vehicles will arrive between 06.00 and 10.00, with very few journeys made on a Saturday.
Based on the location of The Range’s existing retail stores 95% of all delivery vehicles will route north along the A350 to the M4.
Car trips to the development
The proposed retail distribution centre will be a major employer in Wiltshire, with up to 1,000 people employed at the Centre when open. It is expected that staff at the retail distribution centre will work in three shifts across a 24-hour period, spreading the journeys over a day.
The Range has prepared a Travel Plan with the aim of increasing car sharing by staff across its business.The proposed shift pattern at the RDC:
- Shift One – 07:00 to 15:00
- Shift Two – 15:00 to 23:00
- Shift Three – 23:00 to 07:00
Based on a catchment area of a 15-minute drive time we expect there will be approximately 750 customer trips to and from The Range Store. Between 30 and 40% of these vehicles will already be on the highway network.
Why are we proposing to develop adjacent to the A350 and not the M4?
Many people at the July exhibition questioned why we are proposing to locate the RDC and The Range store adjacent to the A350 and not at Junction 17 of the M4. The land at Junction 17 has been considered by The Range and has been discounted on the following basis:
- it is located away from Chippenham and conflicts with Wiltshire Council’s draft Core Strategy which encourages employment sites adjacent to Wiltshire’s principal towns
- the site cannot be delivered by mid-2016 and is not under The Range’s control
- it has not been identified for employment in the emerging Wiltshire Core Strategy
By comparison, our proposed development site is:
- well positioned to access the M4
- identified in studies supporting the Wiltshire Core Strategy as deliverable and an ideal location for B8 distribution uses
- under The Range’s control
- financially viable and deliverable by mid-2016, subject to achieving planning permission
- Wiltshire Core Strategy supports additional employment land adjacent to principle settlements subject to meeting necessary criteria
- in a more sustainable location adjacent to Chippenham
- better placed to support Chippenham’s economy by retaining spending locally
We need to secure planning permission from Wiltshire Council before we can deliver the proposed development.
To support the plans, please click here