Digger giant JCB has lodged plans for a £1.4 million expansion at a Staffordshire quarry.
The manufacturer – which has factories in Staffordshire, Derbyshire and Wrexham – acquired sites off Ashbourne Road in Cauldon Low in December 2013 under an agreement that former owners Lafarge Tarmac would retain the rights.
Now JCB wants to build an extension to the existing research and development (R&D) facility at the site – to allow it to ‘stay at the forefront of future technologies’.
The company says the plans will ‘significantly increase’ the workshop capacity at the site and enable it to robustly test its machinery before it is released to the market
StokeonTrentLive reports that the proposals – which have been submitted to Staffordshire Moorlands District Council – equate to a £1.4 million investment.
A planning statement reads: “The JCB operations maintain the integrity and security of the site and creates employment for over 50 people on sites that would otherwise be left dormant, and supports the research and development of a major international manufacturing company based in Staffordshire, employing approximately 6,000 in the UK, and 11,000 worldwide.
“JCB sit at the forefront of construction machinery innovation and are the first large scale manufacturer to develop a range of electric machines. In order to stay at the forefront of future technologies it is necessary to expand the R&D facility at the quarry.
“It is crucial to JCB’s ongoing success that they are able to continue to develop machines and test them to ‘breaking point’.
“Without the expansion of the workshop, alongside other developments, this thorough and robust development and testing regime will not be able to be undertaken or will have to be undertaken at rented test sites at significant cost to the company.”
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It adds: “While it is anticipated that a small number of jobs will be created by the development these are likely to be based across both the Wredon Quarry site and other local manufacturing bases.
“There is unlikely to be a material increase in staff permanently based at the quarry. The existing parking requirements associated with the use will therefore remain unchanged.”