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Anger over 60ft warehouse behind homes after council consulted wrong street

Council officials wrote to residents on the wrong street when consulting about a huge warehouse development in Corby, Northamptonshire.

Kieran Joseph and Megan Cowan who live next to the new site. Hooke Close properties. Residents in Corby are stunned by the huge factory being built just feet from their homes without consultation after the wrong street was spoken to before construction began. Instead of going to Hooke Close, NNC went to Hubble Road, a street near the other Corby Weetabix site.  Photo released February 6 2024. See SWNS story SWLSfactory. Fuming locals say they are living next to a 60ft-high “monster” warehouse – after bungling council officials consulted the WRONG street.Homeowners in Corby, Northants., woke up to see a huge metal frame of the industrial units being erected just feet away from their back doors.Bemused neighbours contacted the council to ask why they had not been informed only to discover officials mixed up the street with another road.Officials mistakenly consulted people living on Hubble Road instead of Hooke Close to ask their opinions about the massive 160,800 sq ft development.
Residents Kieran Joseph and Megan Cowan live next to the construction site at Hooke Close, Corby, Northamptonshire. (SWNS)

Residents have been stuck with a 60ft-high "monster" warehouse on their doorsteps after a council consulted the wrong street.

The huge development has gone up on the site of a former Weetabix factory in Corby, Northamptonshire, despite locals not being informed.

When angry residents contacted North Northamptonshire Council about the construction, they were told that officials had confused their street with another road half a mile away.

The council mistakenly consulted people on Hubble Road for their views on the planning application, instead of those on Hooke Close where the warehouse is being built on a 160,800 sq ft development.

Hooke Close properties. Residents in Corby are stunned by the huge factory being built just feet from their homes without consultation after the wrong street was spoken to before construction began. Instead of going to Hooke Close, NNC went to Hubble Road, a street near the other Corby Weetabix site. Photo released February 6 2024. See SWNS story SWLSfactory. Fuming locals say they are living next to a 60ft-high “monster” warehouse – after bungling council officials consulted the WRONG street.Homeowners in Corby, Northants., woke up to see a huge metal frame of the industrial units being erected just feet away from their back doors.Bemused neighbours contacted the council to ask why they had not been informed only to discover officials mixed up the street with another road.Officials mistakenly consulted people living on Hubble Road instead of Hooke Close to ask their opinions about the massive 160,800 sq ft development.
Residents on Hooke Close in Corby were not consulted about the new warehouse. (SWNS)

Residents say they fear the warehouse will block sunlight from their homes and see the value of their houses plummet.

“If they’d consulted and said, ‘We’re going to put a 160,000 sq ft warehouse there that’s going to block your view’, I would have obviously objected to it, but they didn’t," said resident Georgie Wallis.

“How can you get that so wrong? How can you make such an error and wonder why no one has objected?

Watch: Anger as warehouse built behind houses after council blunder

“It’s enormous. Once the shell goes in it, that’s going to be a complete eyesore, and it already is, it’s awful.”

Jose Cruz, 64, and his wife Olga, 59, moved into their two-bedroom semi-detached home on the street in 2011, but now fear they will be unable to sell their £200,000 house because the warehouse looms over their back fence.

“It’s a nightmare, the building will leave our home in complete darkness," said Mr Cruz.

“There used to be a Weetabix factory on the site but that was half the size of this monstrosity and it had been dormant for a long time.

Jose Cruz who lives next to the new site. Hooke Close properties. Residents in Corby are stunned by the huge factory being built just feet from their homes without consultation after the wrong street was spoken to before construction began. Instead of going to Hooke Close, NNC went to Hubble Road, a street near the other Corby Weetabix site.  Photo released February 6 2024. See SWNS story SWLSfactory. Fuming locals say they are living next to a 60ft-high “monster” warehouse – after bungling council officials consulted the WRONG street.Homeowners in Corby, Northants., woke up to see a huge metal frame of the industrial units being erected just feet away from their back doors.Bemused neighbours contacted the council to ask why they had not been informed only to discover officials mixed up the street with another road.Officials mistakenly consulted people living on Hubble Road instead of Hooke Close to ask their opinions about the massive 160,800 sq ft development.
Resident Jose Cruz at his property with the construction in the background. (SWNS)

“We get the sun in the morning into our kitchen, garden and bedroom but not any more. The works have caused our house to shake violently. It goes on for hours and hours.

“It’s terrible and we’re very angry we weren’t consulted about it.”

Operations manager Kieran Joseph, 30, has lived in the street with hairdresser Megan Cowan, 28, and their two children, for seven years.

More East Mids stories - click above
More East Mids stories - click above

He said: "It's been pretty hellish ever since they started building. While they have been laying the foundations, it's been a constant 'bang, bang, bang' all day every day.

"The vibrations have caused a crack in our roof so the kids' bedroom leaks and when I or Megan work from home we've had to explain and apologise to customers because of the noise.

"The galling thing is the council consulted the wrong road of residents and gave them detailed information and milestone dates while we were just kept in the dark.

"We really don't want to stay here any longer because even when the warehouse is finished, it's going to be so big it blocks out the light and they'll be cars and lorries coming in and out of it at all hours."

North Northamptonshire Council approved plans to build the warehouse on the site of the former Weetabix factory last November.

But planning officers incorrectly wrote to residents on Hubble Road, which is next to another Weetabix factory.

 Hubble Road. Residents in Corby are stunned by the huge factory being built just feet from their homes without consultation after the wrong street was spoken to before construction began. Instead of going to Hooke Close, NNC went to Hubble Road, a street near the other Corby Weetabix site.  Photo released February 6 2024. See SWNS story SWLSfactory. Fuming locals say they are living next to a 60ft-high “monster” warehouse – after bungling council officials consulted the WRONG street.Homeowners in Corby, Northants., woke up to see a huge metal frame of the industrial units being erected just feet away from their back doors.Bemused neighbours contacted the council to ask why they had not been informed only to discover officials mixed up the street with another road.Officials mistakenly consulted people living on Hubble Road instead of Hooke Close to ask their opinions about the massive 160,800 sq ft development.
The council mistakenly wrote to residents on Hubble Road in Corby, Northamptonshire, the site of the other Weetabix factory. (SWNS)
Residents in Corby are stunned by the huge factory being built just feet from their homes without consultation after the wrong street was spoken to before construction began. Instead of going to Hooke Close, NNC went to Hubble Road, a street near the other Corby Weetabix site.  Photo released February 6 2024. See SWNS story SWLSfactory. Fuming locals say they are living next to a 60ft-high “monster” warehouse – after bungling council officials consulted the WRONG street.Homeowners in Corby, Northants., woke up to see a huge metal frame of the industrial units being erected just feet away from their back doors.Bemused neighbours contacted the council to ask why they had not been informed only to discover officials mixed up the street with another road.Officials mistakenly consulted people living on Hubble Road instead of Hooke Close to ask their opinions about the massive 160,800 sq ft development.
Construction is continuing on the huge warehouse in Corby, Northamptonshire. (SWNS)
Hooke Close properties. Residents in Corby are stunned by the huge factory being built just feet from their homes without consultation after the wrong street was spoken to before construction began. Instead of going to Hooke Close, NNC went to Hubble Road, a street near the other Corby Weetabix site. Photo released February 6 2024. See SWNS story SWLSfactory. Fuming locals say they are living next to a 60ft-high “monster” warehouse – after bungling council officials consulted the WRONG street.Homeowners in Corby, Northants., woke up to see a huge metal frame of the industrial units being erected just feet away from their back doors.Bemused neighbours contacted the council to ask why they had not been informed only to discover officials mixed up the street with another road.Officials mistakenly consulted people living on Hubble Road instead of Hooke Close to ask their opinions about the massive 160,800 sq ft development.
The warehouse already towers over the houses on Hooke Close, Corby, Northamptonshire. (SWNS)

Developer Block Industrial said the groundworks at Earlstree 160 are completed and progress has been made in the above ground construction works, with the development on track to achieve practical completion later this year.

The site, which will have enough parking for 109 cars and 25 heavy goods vehicles, is already being advertised as a distribution warehouse to lease on Rightmove.

Labour councillor Mark Pengelly said: “The council have admitted they consulted with the wrong streets on this application.

“Incredibly the North Northants planning officers consulted with homes next to a different Weetabix site.

“My constituents are furious and would have objected to how close the buildings are to their homes.”

However, the council insists the development is still legal despite not consulting residents.

Residents in Corby are stunned by the huge factory being built just feet from their homes without consultation after the wrong street was spoken to before construction began. Instead of going to Hooke Close, NNC went to Hubble Road, a street near the other Corby Weetabix site.  Photo released February 6 2024. See SWNS story SWLSfactory. Fuming locals say they are living next to a 60ft-high “monster” warehouse – after bungling council officials consulted the WRONG street.Homeowners in Corby, Northants., woke up to see a huge metal frame of the industrial units being erected just feet away from their back doors.Bemused neighbours contacted the council to ask why they had not been informed only to discover officials mixed up the street with another road.Officials mistakenly consulted people living on Hubble Road instead of Hooke Close to ask their opinions about the massive 160,800 sq ft development.
The warehouse development is right next to homes in Hooke Close, Corby. (SWNS)

Conservative council leader Jason Smithers said: “North Northamptonshire Council has recently been made aware of an error which impacted upon our planning consultation process for the proposed redevelopment of an industrial site on the Earlstrees Industrial Estate in Corby and resulted in letters about a planning application being sent to residents in Hubble Road, Corby instead of Hooke Close, Corby.

“We understand the frustration caused to neighbouring residents of the development site and apologise for the error.

“We can confirm that the permission remains lawful as a notice was placed at the site and a press advert was published - which fulfils the statutory part of the process.

“We apologise again for the error and residents can be assured we are doing all we can to ensure a similar issue doesn’t happen again.”

What should councils do to consult residents?

According to the government, after a local planning authority has received a planning application, it must undertake a period of consultation.

This allows views on the proposed development to be expressed by locals and will usually last for 21 days.

Anyone can respond to a planning application, including local residents who might be directly affected, community groups or special interest groups.

The time period for making comments should be detailed in the publicity accompanying the planning application, and shouldn't be fewer than 21 days, or 14 days where a notice is published in a newspaper.

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