17 new units planned in Four Ashes industrial estate expansion
The Four Ashes industrial estate in Staffordshire looks set to increase in size by more than a third, as major new expansion plans have been submitted.
Another 17 units could be added to the Enterprise Centre off the A449 in Cannock adding an extra two acres to the site, under plans which have been recommended for approval by the local council.
It will be a considerable extension to the current 52-acre industrial site, boosting its size by 32 per cent, and could bring another 100 jobs to the area.
Patrick Walker, senior planner at Staffordshire County Council is urging councillors to give the application the green light.
He said: “There are significant economic benefits to the scheme, including an increase of over 100 jobs directly arising from the development and a likely additional £7.4 million of gross value added into the local economy.
“Furthermore, the small and medium enterprise units provided would help to meet a strong demand for such units in the local area.”
He added while there would be some impact on the environment, with the loss of some trees and the close proximity to the local wildlife site, these issues could be dealt with.
“Whilst there will be some impacts on the adjacent Site of Biological Interest, these impacts and other environmental constraints on the surrounding area can be satisfactorily mitigated, as confirmed with consultees,” he added.
“Therefore, I recommend this application be approved.”
The new units would form part of the Four Ashes employment site, and would also include a large storage site for poultry storage and processing company Ana Food Services, which is already based at the estate.
Four Ashes is already home to leading automotive parts supplier Gestamp, which started operations on site last year.
Based off the A449, the 52-acre Four Ashes site provides 900,000 sq ft industrial floor space and forms part of the Wolverhampton Staffordshire High Growth Zone.
Staffordshire County Council carried out the essential access works for Four Ashes, leading the way for new businesses and up to 1,300 new jobs.
The project was funded by the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership including a £1.9million allocation from the Government’s Local Growth Fund.
It included the creation of a traffic signalled junction on the A449, and new pedestrian crossings were also installed while pedestrian and cycle routes were improved.
Councillors are due to discuss the plans later this year.