Monday, July 24, 2017

News: Ibstock eyeing "ideal" Rotherham site for new factory

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Ibstock plc, a leading manufacturer of clay bricks and concrete products, is searching for a site for a new large factory and has identified its former brickworks at Maltby as a potential location.

With operations in the UK and the United States, Ibstock operates a network of 23 active quarries and has 33 manufacturing plants and six speciality brick assembly sites in the UK.

To meet growing market demands, the company is interested in expanding its base in northern England and has been looking at its property portfolio.

Pre-application discussions have been taking place with Rotherham Council over the potential use of the Maltby site for a 160,000 sq ft facility for the manufacture of concrete tiles and roofing products.

The proposed factory, which would be sited to the North of the former factory, could create over 100 jobs.

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The plc's subsidiary, Forticrete, is a leading manufacturer of concrete substitutes for natural stone walling, dressings and concrete roof tiles, with seven manufacturing plants in the UK. In recent years it has invested nearly £8m to expand capacity at its Leighton Buzzard factory.

Planning documents submitted to Rotherham Council read: "Given there was a brickworks factory at Maltby, which operated for many years prior to its closure in the early 1990's and also considering the excellent transport links with the A631 and M1, the site has been selected as the ideal location in this regard."

The 24 hour operation would see the sand and additives required in the manufacturing process delivered by HGV. Plans estimate that there would be 100 HGV daily movements (50 in and 50 out).

Permission was previously approved for clay extraction but the Green Belt site was due to be reclaimed and the land re-graded by 2025. The site is set to keep its Green Belt status in the borough's Local Plan.

However, earlier this year, members of the planning board at Rotherham Council went against the officer's recommendation not to refuse plans to enable Rotherham logistics firm, The Green Group, to create a new building on the site. The vote came despite planners stating that the development, and 150 jobs, could be located in more preferable locations designated for employment use and not in the Green Belt.

The plans were referred to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government as a departure from the Development Plan but were approved after they were not "called in."

In 2009, Rotherham Council was ordered to pay £780,000 following a lengthy legal battle with Ibstock after the authority was judged to have failed to restore part of the Maltby quarry site having used it for landfill.

For the year ending December 31 2016, Ibstock plc posted a turnover that was up 5% to £435m. Adjusted EBITDA (earnings before taxes) was up 4% to £112m. £103m was from the UK operations.

When publishing its results, the firm said that: "In the UK, demand for building products is anticipated to increase due to Government support for new housebuilding, increasing household formations and population growth. We are investing in the latest technology to increase capacity and to meet the growing market demands."

Ibstock plc website

Images: Ibstock


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