MEMBERS of the public have just a handful of days left to ‘have their say’ on how the long-term future of the Bentley factory in Crewe could look.
A development framework drawn up by Bentley Motors in consultation with Cheshire East Council, provides a platform to deliver a modern, advanced manufacturing operation in the future that will be more efficient, secure and productive.
The ambition is to create a campus-style site that could potentially grow and expand in line with the company’s ambitions.
A public consultation on the development framework began on January 3 and runs online until 5pm on February 14.
As part of this consultation, Bentley Motors hosted two drop-in events at its Legends facility, on Sunnybank Road, Crewe, last month.
Cllr Don Stockton, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for regeneration, said: “We would really welcome the views of residents and businesses on the proposed future Bentley masterplan – and I would urge people to take the little time it takes to fill in the online form before the consultation deadline of 5pm on February 14.
“Bentley Motors is of tremendous importance to the local, regional and national economies and so we would really like to hear the opinions of local people and organisations.
“More than 4,000 people are employed directly by the company, which provides many apprenticeship opportunities locally.
“It is also Crewe’s largest single employer, accounting for more than £1 billion of UK exports each year – so it is important we get this document right.”
The campus would locate manufacturing, design, research and development, engineering operations and boosted security in a single integrated site with ‘seamless connectivity’ to enable ‘the efficient flow of people, goods and services’.
The framework aims to set out the key design, development and planning policy considerations which will be used in the determination of potential future planning applications relating to the site.
Bentley Motors’ aspirations for its expanded site would require the closure of parts of Pyms Lane and Sunnybank Road to the public.
However, no decision has been taken on these proposals, which will form part of the consultation.
Any future change to road access would require submission of a planning application and be subject to the normal planning consent process.
The council’s household waste recycling centre at Pyms Lane is also within the long-term ambition for the campus.
There are no plans to close this centre and any future change to the facility would have to be consistent with the household waste and recycling requirements of Crewe and would require a future approval.
Most of the land identified within the campus ‘vision’ is owned by the council and any change would be subject to detailed future negotiations.
Once the public consultation ends, the development framework will be reviewed and potentially amended.
This document will then go before cabinet in the spring for a decision on whether or not to endorse it.
To take part in the consultation visit cheshireeast.gov.uk/bentleymasterplan