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Gloucestershire Business News

Aerospace giant plans to touch-down at business park

Plans have been revealed for one of the world's biggest aerospace companies to relocate operations onto a Gloucestershire business park.

Names and addresses have been redacted from documents submitted for a 183,580 square foot warehouse and office space in Gloucester, helping hide some of the detail.

But closer inspection of the 60-plus documents filed with Tewkesbury Borough Council reveals a fitting new tenant for what is the site of the first official test flight of the turbo jet engine invented by Sir Frank Whittle.

"The building will be fully occupied upon practical completion by a pre-committed occupier. The proposed warehouse development is for Dowty Propellers, who are currently based in Mitcheldean, Gloucestershire," said the document submitted to planners by Arlington Gloucester Business Park.

"Arlington's proposals represent an opportunity to make a positive contribution to the local economy."

What Arlington means by that is Dowty Propellors currently employs 380-plus staff and it will be bringing them with it.

It is the final piece in the jigsaw left missing following Punchline's story earlier this month confirming Gloucester Business Park was the preferred location for the GE Aviation-owned company which still bears the famous Gloucester name of Dowty.

The application uses planning speak to describe the new building as B1, B2 and B8. Which means not just warehousing but industrial and office space.

"The facility will be subject to planning approval and if such consent is granted, it is expected that operations will commence in late 2019," said a statement from the company.

"The new facility follows Dowty Propellers announcement last year of its commitment to continue operations in the Gloucester area following a fire that destroyed its operating headquarters and blade manufacturing facility in February 2015.

"Since the fire, Dowty Propellers and its employees (circa 380) have been operating from several interim facilities in Gloucestershire. Employees will progressively transfer to the new facility once it is operationally ready.

"GE Aviation and Dowty Propellers are committed to investing in this new multi-functional facility at Gloucester Business Park and a seamless transition for both employees and customers.

"The new facility will house the business headquarters and production facility, along with the main UK repair and overhaul operation."

Parking for the site is 'allocated' within the proposal, and if anything it will be this aspect which will be watched by residents near to the business park.

Andrew Pugh, chairman of Hucclecote Parish Council, said in principal the council welcomed news of the company's move to the park, but the overflow of staff from companies parking in residential areas had long been a major concern.

A closure inspection of the plans also reveals the company could well be liable for a £100,000 contribution to develop open space south of Ermin Street.

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