Posted on Tuesday 5th May 2020
Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet member for economic growth Mark Winnington said:
The county council did not approve of this proposal due to its location in the South Staffordshire green belt.
We were a consultee on the plans and have worked from the beginning to ensure Four Ashes Ltd does everything it can to mitigate its impact on local communities.
This includes minimising environmental damage and the resulting pressure on roads and services. We will be reviewing the detail to make sure all the infrastructure we asked for has been secured, particularly around HGV movements and parking.
As a council we have signed up to a climate change emergency motion and therefore now this development has been approved it is essential that the rail terminal is delivered first as part of the scheme. Our priority remains on ensuring there is maximum mitigation and appropriate compensation to affected communities.”
Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership chairman Alun Rogers said:
We will be working with our partners to ensure that the impact on residents in South Staffordshire and the local infrastructure is mitigated. This will be a significant development which we know has faced local opposition and as a LEP we represent the interests of our communities and businesses.
Now the Government has now taken this decision to approve the scheme we will press to ensure the mitigation measures included in the original proposals are delivered.
As the scheme develops, we will be doing all we can to make the case for inclusion of advanced manufacturing businesses on site along with logistics. The logistics sector does play an important part in our local industrial strategy and the wider economy. This site has the potential to create up to 8,500 jobs which we welcome, with a further 8,200 in supply chain and associated businesses. We want to see as many of these jobs as possible being higher value which will benefit our residents.
As the Government is currently out to consultation on freeports, we would also like to see the design of this site incorporate potential adaption if needed.”