180 homes for former Cannock Gestamp factory site set to get green light
A plan to build nearly 200 homes on the site of a major factory in Cannock looks set to be given the green light.
Gestamp Tallent, which is moving to a mammoth new £70 million site at Four Ashes, wants to demolish its current Cannock factory to pave the way for 180 homes and 30,000 sq ft of employment space.
The proposal has been recommended for approval by planning experts.
The car parts manufacturer is one of Cannock's largest employers and its move to South Staffordshire was considered a blow for the town.
The factory site on Wolverhampton Road would be totally transformed under the plans, making way for the housing development and a huge area of new employment space, potentially bringing hundreds of jobs.
Planning committee members in Cannock have been advised to approve the application at a meeting on May 30.
Ian Middleton, UK chairman of Gestamp Tallent, told the Express & Star it was likely to be 'two or three years' before the homes are built. The company is not planning to leave Cannock until the end of next year.
He said: "It is exciting for the area. It will bring much-needed housing and that is probably more appropriate there than a factory. I think it will be win-win for the council and residents and on the commercial side it should bring more jobs.
"We have had a wonderful relationship with Cannock over a lot of years and we want to keep that going in the future.
"We are not going to move out, if planning permission is achieved, next week. We are going to be vacating over the next 18 months. It is not going to be something that happens overnight."
A planning report ahead of next week's meeting said the proposal was considered 'acceptable' but council bosses are keen to hold future discussions about the possibility of including affordable housing in the new development.
Cannock Chase District Council's finance director Bob Kean said the authority was 'naturally disappointed' Gestamp was leaving the area when plans were first revealed last year but conceded the move was necessary to secure its future.
Rather than leave Cannock completely, Gestamp has said there could be potential to set up a new training facility at its site near the A5.