Derbyshire car manufacturer Toyota could be set to create new jobs if plans to extend the despatch yard at its Burnaston factory are approved.
The firm, which makes the Auris and Avensis models at the site, has applied to South Derbyshire District Council to create the space, to the rear of the main factory, to store an extra 3,500 new vehicles.
The plans would help Toyota replace an existing arrangement where the vehicles are stored off-site.
According to documents submitted as part of the application, the current despatch yard employs 65 full-time staff and 25 part-time roles.
But if the plans are approved, this would rise to 120 full-time and 60 part-time jobs, meaning that a total of 90 new jobs would be created.
The majority of cars produced at the Burnaston factory are exported and the despatch yard, sited next to the plant’s solar farm, would store newly-made cars before they are exported to dealerships across Europe.
The yard, which would cover around 15 acres, would be built on countryside that is already owned by the firm, which has been making cars at Burnaston since 1992. In December, Toyota will mark 25 years of manufacturing at the site.
The development would result in the removal of field boundary hedges and groups of trees and several individual trees.
But Toyota said that it would be planting several trees – as well as landscaping – to screen the yard. The firm said that it would also address potential flooding issues with a new attenuation pond.
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The development would increase the number of car transporter movements per week by around 40 to 60. Currently, there is an average of between 70 to 100 transporters per week.
According to a report compiled by the district council’s planning department, Derbyshire Wildlife Trust has identified habitats and the presence of protected species on the proposed site.
It said that further surveys would be required before the application could be determined. The district council said that those assessments were currently being done.
In the meantime, the council’s planning committee is due to meet on Tuesday to discuss the proposals.
The authority’s planning officers have recommended that councillors delegate the approval of the scheme to the planning services manager ahead of a mitigation deal being reached with Derbyshire Wildlife Trust.
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The planning department’s report said: “One of the most important considerations in regards to the proposals is the economic benefits that arise from the development.
“Toyota are a successful company and have been producing cars at the Burnaston site for almost 25 years and are one of the largest employers in the area.
“The proposal would allow the significant expansion of this local business adjacent to their existing site and would assist in economic regeneration.
“The site is open countryside and contains a significant level of hedgerow and associated trees. However, the land the subject of the application while not developed was always part of the land portfolio of Toyota.
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“Looking at the impact of the development as a whole it is considered that the proposal would maintain the intrinsic qualities of the surrounding landscape and subject to appropriate mitigation, would not lead to any undue adverse impacts, even taking into account the removal of a significant length of hedgerow and trees.
“In conclusion, the development is considered to be acceptable and would lead to a substantial investment, creating a significant number of employment opportunities.
“While there are acknowledged adverse impacts in terms of amenity, additional traffic, landscape impact and loss of trees and hedgerows, these matters do not outweigh the significant benefits that would result from the development in terms of economic growth.”
Source: Derby Telegraph