Shropshire Star

Bottled water firm has lorry park and warehouse plans refused over pollution fears

A bottled water firm on the Shropshire border has been told to think again on plans for a lorry park and warehouse expansion, after it was deemed a potential risk to sensitive groundwater supplies.

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Montgomery Waters had lodged outline proposals to expand its Church Stretton premises with a lorry park for seven delivery vehicles, and an extension to an existing warehouse on the site.

In its planning application, the firm said the scheme would help the business to expand and provide local job opportunities.

But an objection from the Environment Agency said the company had not supplied enough information about how groundwater sources would be protected on the site of the lorry park, which was proposed to be built on a groundwater source protection zone.

They said the application did not “demonstrate that the risks of pollution have been understood or provide adequate mitigation for these risks”.

“The applicant’s business is dependent upon the water supply in this location and it is in their interests to safeguard their supply and not cause pollution to the spring system,” they added.

Refusing the scheme, Shropshire Council’s planning officers also said the location would intrude on open fields on the edge of Church Stretton , which they said would “urbanise the countryside”, amid concerns about the wider impact on the Shropshire Hills AONB.

“The proposed lorry park is an inappropriate extension of the existing business into an isolated area of open fields where is will be unduly prominent and visible from the surrounding countryside,” they said.

“This is exacerbated by the lack of other development on the eastern side of the B4577[sic] and the local land topography.

“Consequently, the development will cause permanent irreparable harm to the character and identity of the area which forms part of the valued Shropshire Hills National Landscape.”

The scheme had attracted 73 objections, including submissions from Shropshire Hills National Landscape organisation, who said the lorry park was of “significant concern”.

A new access point was set to be constructed to the lorry park off Shrewsbury Road, while the warehouse building would use the existing access at the site.

But the council’s planning officers also had concerns around the warehouse expansion and the potential impact on nearby residents.

They also said more information was needed about how the proposed highway access would be accommodated safely.

“Whilst the principle of extending the existing warehouse is acceptable, the proposed scale of use intensification at the site is inappropriate for the rural mainly residential location, where there is an additional lack of information in regard to the effective operation of the site and its impact on adjoining residential amenity,” they added.