A RETAIL park will be extended by more than 2,000 square metres but councillors fear the creeping development could cause worse traffic problems and pollution.

Stane Retail Park in Stanway will see a further 2,323 square metres of retail space created on the first floor after winning approval from Colchester Council.

Despite agreeing the proposals and plans for a similar extension last year, some councillors argued the wider development would not have been permitted if it came to the council at its current size.

Councillor Lesley Scott-Boutell told the planning committee she had received complaints from residents saying they feared the increased pressure on nearby roads would result in more noise, air and light pollution.

She said: “I have concerns regarding yet another application for extra floor space at this location, as there appears to be an element of creeping development.

Lesley Scott-Boutell

Lesley Scott-Boutell

“I’m not convinced the extra floor space granted by a subsequent application and this one would have been granted if applied for along with the original application.”

Later she said: “There comes a point where the planning committee has to say enough is enough. Are we there yet?”

Speaking on behalf of developer Churchmanor Estates, consultant Martin Robson said the Highway Authority had not raised any objections to the plans and added turning part of the Stanway Western Bypass into a dual carriageway and building new traffic signals at the A12 junction had been required by the original planning permission three years ago.

He said: “These works provide significant extra traffic capacity for well into the future for the benefit of the whole Stanway area.”

A submission from council leader Paul Dundas was also read out at the meeting.

He said the original application was supported because it brought jobs and investment in road infrastructure.

Stane Retail Park. Picture: Readie Construction

Stane Retail Park. Picture: Readie Construction

Mr Dundas added: “Although the project retains my support, I am concerned about a degree of mission creep in this application.”

The units set to be extended currently covers an area of 6,309 square metres including the 4,273 square metres of additional space granted by the council in 2021. The first phase has already been completed with some shops like B&Q and Aldi open.