CWAC permits warehouse, solar farm
Encirc will deliver the 657,000 sq ft facility next to its existing factory off Ash Road in Elton, while New Energy Wales can now transform a 60-acre plot at Bretton Hall Farm to generate enough power for around 4,200 homes.
Cheshire West and Chester Council unanimously approved both schemes at its planning committee meeting on Thursday, in line with officer recommendations.
Application number: 22/03693/FUL
Encirc, which manufactures and distributes glass bottles, will build a 657,000 sq ft facility on the 50-acre plot previously occupied by four cooling towers.
Designed by AEW Architects, the scheme will deliver a 364,400 sq ft automated warehouse and more than 15,000 sq ft of office space, as well as a 150,000 sq ft dispatch area.
Plans will also see the creation of a monorail providing an automated link for transporting goods from Encirc’s existing warehouse to the new facility.
Encirc opened its Elton facility in 2005. Since then, its workforce has more than doubled from 400 to 900.
The new production line is planned as a joint initiative with Diageo, the alcoholic drinks maker. The line is due to be ultra-low carbon, using green electricity and hydrogen.
The facility is expected to start production in 2027, with a target of producing 200m bottles a year by 2030 for brands including Smirnoff, Captain Morgan, Gordon’s, and Tanqueray.
Encirc submitted the plans for the warehouse in February.
Lichfields is the planning consultant for the scheme. The project team also includes IDOM, I-Transport, The Environment Partnership, and WSP.
Bretton Hall Farm
Application number: 22/02042/FUL
New Energy Wales will deliver and operate the solar farm on a 60-acre plot off Chester Road.
The scheme, set across four agricultural fields, will have a capacity of 14 megawatts – enough to power 4,200 average UK homes.
Plans form part of a proposed 30-megawatt solar farm across a wider 124-acre site. The wider development would provide between 28,000 MWh and 30,000 MWh into the local grid annually, generating renewable energy for the equivalent of around 8,400 average UK homes.
The larger site sits on the boundary between Wales and England, with the northern area lying within the administrative boundary of Flintshire County Council. Therefore, a separate application was submitted to Flintshire County Council last month for the remaining 64-acre area and is awaiting consultation.
The scheme is one of 11 that has received a share of £75,000 from Ynni Cymru, a renewable energy company launched by the Welsh Government in August to help Wales reach its goal to have all its electricity provided by renewable sources by 2035.
The project team includes Corin Hughes, Mabbet & Associates, Land Research Associates, and Systra.