Carpet company gets permission to build new warehouse

The site of the proposed warehouse.

A carpet company has been given permission to relocate from Richmond to a new purpose built facility in Colburn.

A Richmondshire District Council planning meeting saw members approve Calverts Carpets proposal to relocate its Richmond store to a brownfield site off Catterick Road, Colburn, after being told the scheme by officers a scheme for a 1,360sq m warehouse and store with a 38-space car park would meet essential criteria.

The application was passed despite concerns environmentally-friendly features would need to be added in the coming years.

Like several councils in the area, Richmondshire has a policy for non-residential development of over 1,000sq m to consider “opportunities to deliver carbon savings in excess of building regulation requirements and to demonstrate that carbon savings have been maximised”.

However, it does not have specific planning policies regarding electric vehicle charging points.

Long term planning strategies should incorporate policies that facilitate the transition to ultra-low emission vehicles.

The meeting heard, to meet the requirement Calverts’ agent had confirmed that the building façade would be constructed with insulated panels and use local contractors and materials to achieve further carbon savings.

In a report to the meeting the council’s officers concluded “it is evident that the proposal would achieve a suitable level of sustainability”.

However, the authority’s chair, Richmond councillor Lorraine Hodgson, said the development represented missed opportunities to introduce solar panels on the expansive roof and car charging points in the large car park.

She said: “I’m really disappointed they haven’t included those, especially as we are in a climate change emergency.”

Councillor Clive World then called on officers to provide guidance on how the council could adopt a policy of requiring electric vehicle charging infrastructure with every planning application.

After the meeting, Green group leader on North Yorkshire County Council, Councillor Andy Brown, said a minority of developers were continuing to propose schemes with features such as charging points despite 20 per cent of all car sales being fully electric cars last month.

He said: “I think it’s crazy that we’re building new properties without electric vehicle charging points and without solar panels on the roof and then finding we’re installing gas boilers and paying money to Mr Putin for the supply.”

Coun Brown said most developers were recognising that providing charging facilities are a selling point. He said it was often council planning officers who were slowest to realise they were needed.