A red tape cutting move to help boost business growth is in prospect for Ellesmere Port.

The borough council says it is taking ‘a proactive approach’ to supporting investment and development at a key employment site in the town.

It has drawn up a draft local development order (LDO) for the North Road industrial area which, if approved, will grant automatic planning permission for certain types of development in the zone

Following backing from the council’s cabinet, public consultation has been carried out on the initiative which the council says supports the council’s pledge to back local business and economic growth.

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Economic development chief Cllr Brian Clarke (Lab), said: “Developing an LDO for North Road is a positive and proactive move by the council to support regeneration and generate more investment and jobs.

“We are reinforcing Ellesmere Port’s role as a major Cheshire business location making it an attractive option against strong competition from neighbouring areas including Deeside, Daresbury, Liverpool and Warrington.

“Simplifying the planning process will remove barriers to development by improving the speed, consistency and effectiveness of the process and preventing any unnecessary delays.”

The Essar refinery at Stanlow
The Essar refinery at Stanlow

The draft order proposes that permission is granted automatically for development including extensions or alterations to existing buildings, any change of use, the erection of higher fences around a site, the installation of CCTV, the provision of bike shelters and work to support the development of on site energy networks.

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All of these developments will be subject to restrictions to ensure they take account of environmental issues, neighbouring properties and nearby residential areas.

Chris Farrow, chairman of the Ellesmere Port Development Board, which supports the proposal, believes the initiative ‘reflects a determination locally to support existing and new businesses and do what we can to encourage growth in the local economy’.

He added: “Businesses are looking for less bureaucracy and red tape when investing in new premises or expanding existing property and Ellesmere Port has a growing reputation for making things happen.

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“The LDO, alongside the town’s assisted area status, will assist us in promoting Ellesmere Port in a highly competitive market.”

To find out more about development opportunities at North Road and other locations throughout Ellesmere Port call 01244 973690.