It’s been rumoured for quite some time, but it’s now understood that Amazon is set to be moving to a huge new warehouse space in Rochdale.
While both Rochdale Borough Council and Amazon has declined to comment on the move, according to a “well-placed source” close to the project who informed Local Democracy Reporting Service, the online retail giant will operate from a 206,000 sq ft unit at Kingsway Business Park in the heart of the Greater Manchester borough.
The new distribution centre – which is known as ‘Plot H’, or Kingsway 216 – is based off Junction 21 of the M62 near Milnrow, and was built five years ago as a “speculative development”.
It comes after planning permission was approved at the latest meeting of Rochdale Borough Council’s planning committee for an 11-acre site housing 665 delivery vans required to operate the warehouse at nearby ‘Plot J’, with each space fitted with electric vehicle charging points.
This approved development will also provide a “modest welfare building”, a guard hut, 8m high LED lighting columns, and acoustic fencing.
The application for the development attracted a total of 32 public objections, with concerns ranging from harm to the appearance of the area, to the loss of space used by dog walkers, horse riders, and more.
Opposition to the scheme was said to be mainly centred on fears over noise and light pollution.
Strong representations were made when the proposal went before the council’s planning committee on 24 June, but a majority of councillors felt they could not turn down the chance to create hundreds of new jobs and boost the economy.
Councillor Phil Burke, who is vice-chairman of the committee, moved approval on the grounds sufficient mitigation measures had been put in place by the applicant.
Speaking outside of the meeting, he said: “As far as I was concerned, after addressing all the concerns from local residents and putting extra measures in place, I recommended approval as all the concerns had been addressed.
“650 jobs is a much needed boost to the local economy.”
On opposition to the plans, he added: “While we fully understood the concern from local residents in relation to noise and light pollution, we understand from the developers that they have put the light level down to the lowest it could go to prevent any light escaping from the distribution park,”
He continued: “In relation to the noise, there has now been sufficient tree and scrub planted around the site, with the additional fencing that has been put up which were included in the plans.
“The developer has a good track record with Rochdale Borough Council, having worked with council for over 25 years and I am sure they will be willing to work with local residents to deal with any concerns that may be caused in future.”
Featured Image – Google Maps (2016)
Tim Healy surprises fans with performance at The 1975’s Newcastle gig
The 1975’s tour has seen some seriously memorable moments so far, including several special guest appearances, but seeing Tim Healy give a surprise performance has to be the jewel in the crown.
While the band might have formed in the Wilmslow and plied their trade in Manchester on their way to success, several members of the current lineup — including frontman Matty Healy himself — were born in Newcastle, so the gig at the Utilita Arena on Wednesday was very much a homecoming show.
With that in mind, when British TV royalty, Geordie icon and Matty’s old man, Tim Healy popped up on stage, the crowd understandably went wild.
There were no doubt plenty of confused faces when a trademark Matty monologue and sudden cut to black was followed by the bloke from Benidorm appearing up on stage, but there was also a scream bigger than any response Taylor Swift got.
Whipping out some significantly more dramatic thespian ability than the kind you’d associate with his Auf Wiedersehen, Pet days, albeit still fully aware of bizarre the entire spectacle was, he brought one of his son’s trademark digressions about method acting to a close.
But better than that, the 70-year-old ended up staying on stage to perform his own low-key ‘All I Need to Hear‘ cover as the band played in the background. Surreal.
To be honest, it might just be the wholesomeness of it all, but we think we might prefer the older Healy’s version.
Sing it, Tim!
Imagine bringing your dad onto the stage only for him to absolutely steal the show. Brilliant stuff.
Both he and Matty’s celebrity mum Denise Welch have been spotted at various shows as the band continue to perform their ‘At Their Very Best’ tour around the country, with various fans interacting with them in the crowd, but very few would have been expecting an impromptu song from one of them.
Both are obviously more closely associated with TV, with Welch known for appearing on the likes of Coronation Street, Hollyoaks, Loose Women and many more, but if we don’t up end up getting both of them on stage before this tour is over we’ll be genuinely fuming.
It also looks like the reaction meant a lot to him:
Elsewhere in the show, The 1975’s Newcastle fans were treated to an equally ridiculous surprise appearance from Harry Styles. Well, not really…
In case you haven’t seen it already, the band conspired to prank the crowd by putting the former One Direction star’s name up on the screen, only to bring out Scottish singer Lewis Capaldi instead.
He obviously got just as lovely a reaction and fully leaned into bantering with the crowd — joking, “I know what you’re thinking: ‘Harry Styles‘ looks a bit different.'” — before performing a cover of ‘Antichrist’.
Featured Image — @.millr (via TikTok)/@evie_ire (via Twitter)
Tim Martin is blaming ‘people drinking at home’ for UK Wetherspoons closures
It’s no secret that times are hard for hospitality right now, with pubs and restaurants shutting left, right and centre – but when UK pub giant Wetherspoons starts closing its doors you have to wonder if anyone can survive in this climate.
In September last year, the budget pub chain began listing sites for sale with 32 boozers going up as part of what it described as a “commercial decision”.
Now, it has listed even more – and arch-Brexiteer Wetherspoons boss Tim Martin is apparently blaming people ‘drinking at home’ for the closures.
After the chain suffered a £30 million pound loss, CEO Tim Martin told PA news agency that people ‘have got into the habit of staying in’ ever since Covid and that that was why sales were down on 2019.
He also blamed lockdown restrictions brought in to stop the spread of Covid during the heigh of the pandemic for the pub’s losses,
He said: “The aftermath of the pandemic and lockdown restrictions have been far more difficult than anyone thought.
“That is the picture for the whole pub and restaurant industry. People thought that after lockdown there would be a boom in people suffering from cabin fever but, instead, it has almost become the opposite situation as people have got into the habit of staying in.
“That’s the big thing that means sales are down on 2019. Things are improving now but it’s slow.”
The pub sales are being handled by CBRE and Savills. Toby Hall, senior director at CBRE, said: “The excellent mix of locations in this portfolio is rarely seen in the market.
“With more than half the portfolio located in London and the South East and other strong locations in the South West, Midlands and North we believe the pubs represent an excellent opportunity for existing pub operators and new entrants.”