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Mercedes accused of being 'grossly disrespectful' with £70m campus expansion

The team could face some backlash from residents regarding their latest campus expansion plans which have cost north of £70 million.

05 Mercedes AMG F1 Factory Brackley
To news overview © Mercedes

Mercedes has been accused of being "grossly disrespectful" to local businesses with their planned Brackley Formula 1 campus expansion.

Residents are "up in arms" about the plans due to the high levels of traffic is could bring into the area, according to local newspaper Northampton Chronicle and Echo.

The team plans to build a Silicon Valley-style campus as part of a £70 million investment, including marketing buildings, leisure facilities, and restaurants in a bid to improve the working environment within the team.

The main issues have stemmed from the impact it could have on St James Road, which is next to 'Lauda Drive' - named after former F1 World Champion and Mercedes consultant Niki Lauda - which leads to the Mercedes factory.

Used by staff to access the front of the factory, residents fear that it could lead to an influx of cars funnelling through the area from 57 to 528 in the morning and from 50 to 287 in the evening.

Residents unhappy

One of the local residents that operates a warehouse on the road, Przemyslaw Polak of an American car part specialist, believes the plans will make his business "inaccessible" during peak hours.

Simon Wheeler of Canonbury Products Ltd, said that local businesses were not made aware of the plans and take issue with the ramifications it could have on their suppliers.

“Everyone is up in arms about the idea of this happening because at the moment we all have fairly unfettered access into this premises which means we have no issues getting staff or commercial vehicles in,” said Wheeler.

“If you’ve got several hundred cars first thing in the morning and last thing at night trying to enter and exit the site it’s going to cause absolute pandemonium. Our customers, our suppliers, or our employees all of a sudden could be having to leave home earlier to avoid getting caught up in everyone else’s traffic.

“There’s no interest in looking after the smaller businesses – it’s a case of we’re Mercedes, we’ll do what we want and you just have to get on with it. That’s just grossly disrespectful for businesses that have been here for a similar length of time as them.”

Mercedes respond

Mercedes responded to the allegations made to the Chronicle, explaining that all planning procedures were followed.

The spokesperson said: “During the planning application process, we have gone through all appropriate channels including consultation with the Planning Department, which includes a period of public consultation.

“In addition, we have had lengthy consultation with both the Local Highways Department and the National Highways Agency who have audited and verified our independent traffic surveys. We have also consulted with local Emergency Services and agreed a plan of road enhancements to ensure easy egress if required in an emergency from St James Road.

“The concerns raised by the specialist highways consultant employed by one of the local businesses have been reviewed to ensure that the proposed works have the least possible impact on the business. This approach has been agreed with the local Highways team.

“In addition to this we will be enhancing the local footpaths and cycle paths around our site entrance, adding a new pedestrian crossing to the Oxford Road and undertaking works to the roads to aid traffic flows.

“As a major employer in Brackley, we always endeavour to maintain good relations and dialogue with our stakeholders and to maximise our positive impact in the local area. We will continue to do so as we progress through this process.”

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