Monday, June 25, 2018

News: AMP expansion plans approved

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A further 430,500 sq ft of commercial space can be created on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Rotherham after plans were approved by the planning board at Rotherham Council.

Landowner and developer, Harworth Group, applied for outline permission that would provide consent for around 35 acres of land to be used for flexible high quality business, manufacturing and office floorspace. An upper floor limit of 430,500 sq ft is proposed with 5% of which being proposed for B1a office use.

Previously the site of the Orgreave coking works and opencast mining, the application site has recently been restored and engineered to provide development platforms to accommodate future employment units. It includes a strip of land between the existing units and the Parkway.

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Nigel Hancock, assistant planning manager at Rotherham Council, said: "The area has proved to be extremely successful and popular, with the likes of Boeing and McLaren taking units, and of course the university's Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre.

"In 2012, members of the planning board at the time approved an application to create development plateaus in an area to the south west of the existing AMP. And again in 2016, for a further strip of land for further development.

"That was just the regrading works to create the development plateaus, it didn't authorise anything. Since then we've had a number of applications, notably McLaren, which is now more or less completed.

"We've had detailed applications as occupiers have come forward, knowing exactly what they want but we are now at a stage where the landowner wants a bit more degree of certainty over the remaining areas and be in a stronger position to be able to advertise and sell the development space."

Matters of access, layout, scale, appearance and plot landscaping are reserved for future consideration as potential occupiers come forward but plans have already been updated to open up the landscaping along the Parkway that will help show the AMP buildings and demonstrate its importance.

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Hancock added: "We don't have any objections in principle to this development. The main considerations really are what the impact of this level of development would have on the local highway network, the layout of the roads, the landscaping and how it all fits together."

Highways England initially raised concerns regarding the impact on junction 33 of the M1. Updating the travel plan, including informing end users of public transport and other methods of reducing single occupancy car trips, has allayed the agency's fears.

With a condition attached to the planning approval, it is expected that with robust measures in place within the travel plan, the impact on the Parkway and M1 will be at an acceptable level.

Members of the planning board voted unanimously to approve the plans.

Plans for earthworks and new access roads to support further residential development on the Waverley site were also approved.

Harworth Group website

Images: Harworth

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