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£56m complex set to bring 1,500 jobs to Staffordshire

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Plans for a one million sq ft warehousing and logistics development in South Staffordshire could bring 1,500 jobs to the area, say developers.

One unnamed component manufacturing firm has already signed a deal with property investment company Tritax Big Box to take a 543,000 sq ft unit on the site before it is even built.

If the plan gets the green light from South Staffordshire Council, Tritax will then lend developer Bericote £56.3 million to build the logistics and headquarters building.

It is the first four large warehousing facilities proposed for the site by Bericote.

Together they would cover 1.1m sq ft and could provide jobs for more than 1,500 people, says the developer.

Bericote has submitted a detailed planning application for the four buildings on 63 acres of land off Gravelly Way, in Four Ashes, part of which used to be a chemical works.

The proposals have had a cautious reception from Stafford MP Jeremy Lefroy, who said: "We need to see the details on this, but in principle I am in favour of anything creating this number of jobs.

"Brownfield sites are something I want to see developed and used for employment purposes.

"In South Staffordshire we don't want to see continuance between the West Midlands conurbation and Stafford.

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"It is vital we have green land there. But I will always support development on brownfield land."

The development is planned for 63 acres of land off Gravelly Way in Four Ashes, South Staffordshire

Work has already carried out on traffic controlled access and road widening for the site as part of the £82.2m Staffordshire Growth Deal, which saw Government cash ploughed into developments across the county.

The work at Four Ashes saw access to the A449 upgraded with new traffic signals, the bridge over the Stafford and Worcestershire canal has been widened and priority control over the rail bridge will favour incoming traffic to the development.

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A new road will link the Gravelly Way roundabout to the development site.

Work on the first warehouse is due to start next month, if planning permission is secured, with work completed by next July.

The 50ft tall facility will have a gross internal area of 543,692 sq ft with expansion land to accommodate up to a further 101,139 sq ft.

Bericote says its plans could seen up to £120m invested in the area, once firms have taken the other three logistics units, which measure 270,300 sq ft, 176,400 sq ft and 37,070 sq ft.

Colin Godfrey, a partner of Tritax, said: "We are very pleased to be investing in this new logistics facility and UK headquarters."

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