Express & Star

Walsall firm's expansion plan to 'safeguard' more than 80 jobs

A recycling company is looking to expand its battery storage facilities in Darlaston to help “safeguard” more than 80 jobs

Ecobet in Darlaston. Photo: Google

Ecobat Solutions, based in Crescent Works Industrial Park on Willenhall Road, is looking to build three new units for keeping non-hazardous lithium batteries which are ready to be recycled.

The move will ensure the firm will meet requirements of an audit carried out by the Environment Agency, which state the batteries need to be stored under cover to protect them from the weather.

Ecobat, which operates from 7am to 7pm Monday to Fridays and employs 87 full time members of staff, said this presented them with an “urgent need” for extra indoor storage space.

If Walsall Council planners approve the proposal, the three prefabricated buildings will be erected in existing open storage space.

Agents Mosaic Town Planning said: “The proposed and erected buildings address the company’s urgent need to update storage facilities on site both to meet increased demand for internal storage space and to adhere to Environment Agency requirements.

“This would in turn safeguard 87 full-time jobs and ensure that the company can meet its operational requirements.

“The site is a key existing waste management site in the green industries sector, offering sustainable solutions and viewing waste as a valuable resource.

“Local planning policies explicitly encourages the protection and growth of such waste management sites.

“The design, scale and massing of the buildings are appropriate in this location. The materials used are sympathetic to the surrounding industrial area and the scale of the buildings are subordinate to those surrounding it.

“The site is in a sustainable location with good access to public transport and the local highway network.

“There will be no intensification in HGV movements and the limited loss of car parking spaces should be assessed against the current oversupply of spaces.

“The development will support the needs of a local business and ensure the efficient use of space within their premises.”

Walsall Council planning officers are anticipated to make a decision on the proposal in April.