UMC Architects has designed the factory element. Credit: planning documents

All-clear for massive Howden project

Hybrid plans by the eponymous kitchens firm and co-applicant JG Hatcliffe for a 460,000 sq ft factory and up to 1,800 homes have been passed unanimously.

East Riding Council’s planning committee examined the proposals for around an hour at its meeting on 22 June, this session following a pre-committee look into the scheme earlier in the week, due to its complexity.

The professional team on the project includes planner DPP and architect Downes Illingworth.

On the table is a bid for full consent that will allow joinery group Howdens to maintain manufacturing on its home turf, building a new 460,000 sq ft factory, designed by UMC Architects, next to its site around a mile from Howden town centre.

Howdens is also amid a project to expand its Factory 9 onsite (the new proposal is Factory 10) into use for distribution, and is also amid plans for new distribution hubs in Goole and Northampton.

Also included in the full application is the construction of a relief road from Thorpe Road to Station Road to allow access to the new site, an element that seemingly has met with near-universal approval from councillors and their voters, due to the heavy volume of traffic created by the firm.

On top of the employment space, outline consent was sought for a residential development that could be anywhere between 1,600 and 1,900 homes, which will also include a two-form entry primary school, supermarket, pub-restaurant, care home, a medical centre, small business units and local retail, along with parkland and sports pitches.

Although planning consultancy Spawforths spoke on behalf of an adjacent landowner to protest the proposals on grounds of prematurity, given the Local Plan’s currently uncertain status, the proposals only attracted minor criticism in the meeting.

There were questions over various parts of the outline plan, chiefly over timelines for housing delivery and concerns that the Section 106 agreements be secured in full. This is likely to feature a £1.5m contribution to cover the first three years of the required new bus route, which will link the site to Howden centre, Goole and the wider area.

Development of the housing will be phased, with a target of 25% affordable homes in each plot as they come forward.

The Thorpe Hall farmlands area has been lined up for a massive housing expansion for some time, given constraints such as flood issues in neighbouring areas, and the How-G plan put together by Hatcliffe looks to map out how things may proceed.

Several “character areas” are proposed, including St John’s Parade, a pedestrian-first “Minster-vista” area, and Scuttlecroft Stray, covering housing arounds the main north-south footpath and cycle route through the site.

In a packed agenda, committee also backed the eastern area committee’s decision to go against officer recommendation in approving a barn-style residential scheme in Catwick, while it also unanimously backed Primesite Group’s plans for a 23,000 sq ft multi-unit industrial scheme next to the Premier Inn at Airmyn.

Asked to agree to Barratt’s request to reduce its affordable home commitment at a 200-home scheme in Driffield from 15% to 5%, committee resolved to ask officers to try and secure a commitment to 10%, the number likely to set for the Driffield area in the emerging Local Plan.

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