Thames Valley Turnkey Development for Stihl gets the go-ahead
3rd June 2021
Andreas Stihl, a global chainsaw and groundwork equipment manufacturer have been based in Camberley since 1991 employing 95 people in the local area. They have now exceeded their facility’s capacity, and commissioned Marick to assist them with the search and delivery of a new site to cater for their 25-year expansion programme, ideally located within the immediate area, and to also incorporating hub warehousing from Swindon.
Due to the scarcity of large development plots in the Thames Valley, the scheme is to be delivered on a redundant parcel of a Thames Water sewage treatment site offering Sui generis planning status. Deliver of this 8-acre development site had to contend with a number of significant constraints, the most contentious being that part of the site was designated as Zone 3b, Local Authority Strategic Flood Risk, and consequently deemed an ‘in principle’ objection from the Environment Agency.
Following numerous engagements with the Council, and detailed scrutiny from an independent design review panel, objections relating to biodiversity impact, highways access, biodiversity, flood risk modelling, employment sequential analysis were overcome
After considerable negotiation and pre-application consultation with the Local Planning Authority and each statutory consultee, all matters were addressed to ensure that the application provided net betterment in all regards.
The scheme was one of the first virtual planning committees in England, held in May 2020, and after considerable lobbying, achieved committee approval which was subject to Secretary of State “call in” (due to the Environment Agency ‘in principle’ objection referral).
Since, the Secretary of State has approved the permission over-ruling the Secretary of State, a S106 Unilateral Undertaking executed for biodiversity improvements, and Stihl have directly commissioned Maidencroft to undertake improvements to the S278 Highways Agreement now concluded.
Design is progressing towards tender in June 2021, and a shortlist of design and build contractors have been identified with a start targeted for Q4 2021.