CONSTRUCTION work on a new industrial development at the former Hepworth Building Products site on Eastern Avenue is expected to start within days now that plans for 77 new homes were rejected this week by Lichfield district councillors.
Doug Brownfield, newly appointed spokesman for property developers Revelan Group said:
‘Now that the Council has finally rejected my former colleague’s half-baked plans for affordable housing with on-site water feature, we can finally get on with the development of the new industrial units. We have had potential employers and commercial property investors fighting for this space for many years. In my opinion, this is potentially the most valuable piece of industrial real estate in the country. For some reason this site has proven to be recession-proof, it’s red hot frankly.’
Jaguar Land Rover property director Kat Convertor could barely contain her enthusiasm:
‘We’ve been looking at this site for the last seven years, we had to take additional space at i54 as the Eastern Avenue option was blocked by the residential planning application. But now we’re making a formal bid. The site has everything: the West Coast Main line is virtually on site, a fully-skilled local workforce and a fast reliable train service from Lichfield Trent Virtual station.’
The residential plan had been recommended for approval by Dick King, LDC’s strategic director for democratic, development and legal services but the economic development officer objected on the grounds that if preserved as an employment site it would instantly generate over 293 new jobs.
Lichfield District Council did receive letters expressing concern over the original housing plan. It was felt issues relating to vehicles and pedestrians had not been dealt with by the proposal, spokesman Trevor Ford commented:
‘Now that the commercial development is going ahead, vehicles and pedestrians will pose no problems for the high volume of articulated lorries and vans accessing the site seven days and nights a week.’
Anyone interested in competing for space on this new development should immediately contact Revelan Group through its website to avoid disappointment