Automaker Stellantis has secured planning consent for the 670,000 sq ft expansion of its site at Ellesmere Port as part of its £100m electric van investment. Tony McDonough reports
Stellantis has secured planning consent to build a 670,000 sq ft facility at its Ellesmere Port complex as it pushes on with a £100m project to start building electric vans at the site.
In a joint venture with Stoford Properties, Stellantis will use the facility for the storage and distribution of auto parts. The new warehouse will also include three storeys of office accommodation.
In July 2021 Stellantis announced the factory would cease to assemble the Vauxhall Astra and would instead produce a new generation of electric vans. The decisions safeguarded the future of the plant and around 1,100 jobs.
A dark cloud had hung over the site for several years and hundreds of jobs had been lost. Its then owner, French Group PSA, said Brexit had put the facility at risk. However, PSA completed a £40bn merger with Fiat Chrysler.
The enlarged business is now called Stellantis and its brands include Peugeot, Citroen, Fiat, Chrysler, Jeep, Alfa Romeo, Maserati and Vauxhall. The Ellesmere Port factory, which once employed 12,000 people, will now assemble the Vauxhall Combo-e, the Peugeot e-Partner and the Citroen e-Berlingo electric models.
Totalling 28 acres, the new development site is located within the Vauxhall Supply Park, opposite the ongoing development at Aviator Park and is currently owned and used by Vauxhall Motors, largely for car parking.
It sits within the Hooton Business Park area, which has been designated for employment use. There is a cluster of listed buildings to the south-west of the site, largely linked to the former Hooton Park aerodrome, which will be retained.
This week, councillors on Cheshire West & Chester’s planning committee approved the new building. In their report recommending approval, planning officers wrote: “The proposed development represents a high-quality sustainable form of development which will deliver further investment at Ellesmere Port.
“The proposals would deliver positive economic, social and environmental benefits which should be afforded significant positive weight in the determination of this planning application.”
Webb Gray Architects has designed the new building and Avison Young is the planning consultant and the team also includes Potterton Associates, BWB Consulting, BSA Heritage, Ramboll, Hoare Lea, Andy Harmer and Engineering Services Consultancy.